Khar attempts to start dialogue

New York AFP-JIJI

Pakistan’s foreign minister has called for talks with her Indian counterpart to ease tensions over the recent deadly clashes in Kashmir.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said Wednesday in New York that 10 days of fighting over the unofficial border had “created questions” about Pakistan’s relations with India, but added Islamabad was “open” to dialogue at a foreign minister level.

“Unfortunately, this (Line of Control) incident has obviously created questions, but we still believe dialogue must be the means to resolve this or any issue,” Khar said at the Council on Foreign Relations think tank. “We will be open to a discussion, a dialogue, at the level of the foreign ministers to . . . recommit ourselves to respect for the ceasefire.”

Khar said the Pakistani government had faced a “backlash” at home due to its attempts to boost ties with India in the past four years, adding groups in both countries oppose the bilateral peace process.

“They will always encourage you to go hard on the rhetoric and ratchet up the tension,” Khar said. “Some people find it in their interests. We don’t, so we must not fall prey to that.”