Sartaj Aziz: Pakistan weaker than India compared to 1999

sartaj-aziz-pak India_0.jpg

Islamabad: Amid the Line of Control (LoC) skirmishes, Paki­stan’s top diplomat has said that Pakistan is in a weaker position against India as compared to the situation in 1999 when the Kargil war broke out.
Sartaj Aziz, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs said that Pakistan was not standing on equality basis with India as in 1999. 
“Pakistan had held talks with India on the basis of equality in 1999 but unfortunately this is not the case today”, Aziz said in a television interview. 

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The advisor said that he was not optimistic about Sharif’s meeting with his Indian counterpart Manm­ohan Singh in New York in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Aziz said the Indian government was being pressured by the opposition parties and a meaningful dialogue process with New Delhi would begin in 2014 after elections in India. 
To a question, he said that the Kargil war had undermined the Kashmir issue. Aziz has expressed concern over current escalation of tension on the LoC. He alleged that the “Indian hawks” do not want dialogue process between the two countries to move forward.
He said that these developments have been politicised by the opposition parties in India. Aziz said the situation will further deteriorate if anti-Pakistan posture continues till the general elections are held in India.
He alleged that India has failed to reciprocate Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's gestures to improve relations between Islamabad and New Delhi.
Earlier, Sharif had vowed to play his role as a peacemaker by observing “restraint and responsibility”, saying that he expected the Indian side would reciprocate his efforts and take measures to reduce tensions along the LoC in Kashmir.
“The escalation of tensions along LoC is a matter of concern for us and the (UN) secretary general. Pakistan will continue to respond to the situation with restraint and responsibility,” Sharif said.

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