Ready to discuss issue of 'terrorism' with India but New Delhi reluctant to cooperate: Pak

Pakistan on Thursday said it was ready to discuss the issue of “terrorism” with India as it claimed that New Delhi is “reluctant” to cooperate on the matter, which is also a “primary concern” for Islamabad.

Pakistan wants constructive engagement with India as per the policy of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal told media at a weekly briefing here.

“Pakistan is also ready to discuss terrorism which is also a primary concern for Pakistan,” he said.

Faisal said Khan wrote to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on September 14, 2018 reiterating “our principled position of resolving all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, through peaceful dialogue”.

However, India, he said, has been “reluctant to cooperate on the issue of terrorism”.

His comments came ahead of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting to be held in Kyrgyzstan on May 21-22, which will be attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The relationship between the two neighbouring nations currently is at all-time low after a Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber attacked a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14 that killed 40 soldiers.

Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting what it said was a JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26.

The next day, the PAF retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was later released and handed over to India on March 1.