Ahead of Indo-Pak NSA-level talks, Pakistan Friday said it will not "abandon" the Kashmiris' "legitimate struggle for freedom", stressing that to have normal and cooperative relationship with India it was necessary to settle the decades-old dispute.
Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit made the remarks in his address during an event here to mark Pakistan's I- Day.
"Aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir could neither be ignored nor put on the back burner. No matter how much more time their legitimate struggle takes, Pakistan will never abandon Kashmiris and their cause," Basit said.
Asserting that "Pakistan has always wanted to have a normal and cooperative relationship with India," he said, "To this end, it was necessary to settle all the outstanding issues, particularly the Jammu and Kashmir dispute to improve relations."
During his brief speech after hoisting the country's national flag at the Chancery amid a sudden spell of showers, Basit also dwelt on the challenges faced by Pakistan on the economic front and its "fight" against terrorism, saying that the country's economy was showing "encouraging" signs of recovery.
"The China-Pakistan economic corridor was testimony to Pakistan's potential and unparalleled opportunities the country offered for investment," he said.