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Pakistan ready for talks with neighbour: PM Sharif’s new message for India

Photo/Reuters.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his willingness on Tuesday to hold talks with India.

Pakistan Premier Shebaz Sharif expressed his willingness to talk with India, saying the two countries cannot be “normal neighbours” unless serious issues are addressed through peaceful and meaningful discussions, Hindustan Times reported.

After making a similar suggestion in an interview with the Al-Arabiya news channel more than six months prior, Sharif offered to hold talks during his speech at the Pakistan Minerals Summit’s inaugural session in Islamabad.

Since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, India and Pakistan have not had any significant talks. New Delhi has connected any interactions to Islamabad’s crackdown on terror.

Sharif did not mention any specific countries in his statements, but it was clear that he was referring to India. He asserted that neither country could afford to go to war and that a “nuclear flashpoint” would leave no survivors.

“We have nothing against anybody. We must look after ourselves and build our nation, even with our neighbours. We are prepared to talk to them, provided that the neighbour is serious to talk serious matters on the table because war is no more an option,” Hindustan Times reported as cited Sharif.

“But it is equally important that our neighbour has to understand that we cannot become normal neighbours unless abnormalities are removed unless our serious issues are understood and addressed through peaceful and meaningful discussions,” Sharif said.

There was no immediate response from Indian officials to Sharif’s remarks.

The remarks came two days after a deadly suicide bomber in Peshawar city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa killed more than 54 and injured 200 others.

Daesh, also known as ISIS, claimed responsibility for the blast. Since the unilateral ending of the ceasefire between the Pakistani government and TTP, the militants have increased their attacks, targeting Pakistani officials, ordinary people and even religious conventions.