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Pak says 'Kashmir Remains Core Issue' During Foreign Secy-Level Talks

Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Tuesday confirmed that 'all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute' were discussed during the meeting between Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary and his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar.

"The meeting provided a useful opportunity to exchange views on recent developments in bilateral context. In line with our Prime Minister's vision of peaceful neighbourhood, the Foreign Secretary underscored Pakistan's commitment to have friendly relations with all its neighbours, including India," Basit said in a statement.
"All outstanding issues including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute were discussed. The Foreign Secretary emphasized that Kashmir remains the core issue that requires a just solution, in accordance with UNSC resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people," he added. Both foreign secretaries met at South Block here today on the sidelines of the 'Heart of Asia-Istanbul process' conference.

Earlier, Chaudhary was received by Pakistan's High Commissioner Abdul Basit upon his arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here. The foreign ministers of both nations had met in November last year during the SAARC summit in Nepal. The talks between the two sides, however, suffered a setback post the January 2 terror attack on the Pathankot airforce base.

According to a statement issued by the Pakistan Foreign Office yesterday, Pakistan has continued to play an active role in the Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process since its inception in 2011. The Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process is a platform to discuss regional issues, including security, economic cooperation and connectivity among Afghanistan, its neighbours and regional countries with a view to promote lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

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