Islamabad: Within hours of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issuing a statement expressing the desire for betterment of ties with India, the Pakistan National Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning "attacks" by Indian forces at the Line of Control which has turned red hot over the past few weeks with regular exchange of fire between the two rival armies.
Disregarding Sharif's friendly gesture and statements by the Indian government for cooling down of temperature, the Pakistani Parliament unanimously condemned what it called unprovoked aggression by the Indian Army across the LoC. The resolution also condemned the demonstration outside its High Commission's premises in New Delhi.
The resolution was moved by Science and Technology Minister Zahid Hamid, a senior leader of the ruling PML-N, and endorsed the Pakistan Prime Minister's "forceful statement" for effective steps to ensure the ceasefire on the LoC and to improve the atmosphere by engaging constructively to build trust and confidence. "This House forcefully reiterates that while Pakistan is committed to working for peace with its neighbours, it remains steadfast in its resolve to fully defend its sovereignty, territorial borders and national interests.
"It salutes its brave and valiant armed forces and assures them of its fullest support in achieving this objective," said the resolution passed unanimously by the Lower House of Parliament.
The resolution also said that Pakistan will continue to extend diplomatic‚ political and moral support to the legitimate struggle of Kashmiris for the realisation of goal of self-determination as enshrined by UN Security Council resolutions.
Referring to Sharif's remarks on keeping peace along the LoC, the resolution called on the government "to clearly convey to Indian government the necessity to respect and uphold the ceasefire agreement of 2003 in letter and spirit".
Earlier, the Pakistan Prime Minister reached out to India, appealing for talks to resolve all issues between the countries. In a statement issued in Islamabad, Sharif had said the two countries should sit together with a open and clean heart to resolve all issues. He mentioned how people of India and Pakistan used to live together before 1947 saying both the countries must improve their ties for prosperity.
Sharif's statement came even as Pakistan continues to violate ceasefire. Firing was reported on Indian posts in the Ramgarh sector in Samba district early on Tuesday morning even as Pakistan accused Indian troops of firing shells. This was the eighth breach of the ceasefire at the LoC by Pakistani forces in the past four days.
India has welcomed Sharif's friendship offer with a caveat that Pakistan must not harbour terrorists. Responding to Sharif's call for 'coming together with a clean heart', Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said Pakistan needs to honour the sanctity of the LoC, shut down the terror infrastructure and justice for 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
Keeping in mind the killing of five Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops at the LoC in Poonch, India clarified that it needs a better environment to hold the secretary-level dialogue and clearly specified that there is no timeline. "We received a proposal for secretary-level dialogue hosted by Pakistan. But for a peaceful dialogue, we need friendly environment. What happened last week was certainly not friendly for talks," Akbaruddin said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar even said that India will not be given the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status in the near future. When asked whether India will get the MFN status, Dar said, "No. At present, there is no such thing under consideration. I believe that it is necessary to normalise other things first. But granting the MFN status is not under immediate consideration."