Negotiations with India not possible until reversal of 'illegal action' on occupied Kashmir, PMO clarifies.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) clarified on Tuesday that talks with India can only take place after the country reverses its 'illegal action of August 5, 2019', which was aimed at illegally altering the demography of the Muslim-majority state of Indian occupied Kashmir.

'Without India's revocation of this step, negotiations are not possible,' it said.

The statement comes a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif asked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold serious and sincere talks to resolve burning issues, including Kashmir, and said the United Arab Emirates leadership could play an important role in bringing India and Pakistan to the table.

In an interview with UAE's Al Arabiya news channel, the premier said: 'My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that let us sit down on the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning issues like Kashmir.

'In Kashmir, flagrant human rights violations are taking place day in and day out.'

The prime minister said India had usurped any semblance of autonomy, given to the Kashmiris according to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, as the autonomy was revoked in August 2019.

Minorities in India were being persecuted, he said, adding that India must stop this to give a message to the world that the country was ready for meaningful talks.

Referring to PM Shehbaz's Al Arabiya interview today, the PMO spokesperson said that the prime minister had consistently maintained that Pakistan and India must resolve their bilateral issues through dialogue and peaceful means.

'However, the prime minister has repeatedly stated on record that talks can only take place after India has reversed its illegal action of August 5, 2019. Without India's revocation of this step, negotiations are not possible.'

The PMO spokesperson said that the settlement of the Kashmir dispute 'must be in accordance with the UN resolutions and aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir'.

'The prime minister made this position very clear in his interview with Al Arabiya during his recent visit to the UAE,' he added.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah also chimed in, saying the main prerequisite for negotiations with India is the 'revocation of its illegal step taken on August 5, 2019, which stripped the valley of its legitimate status. Until the reversal of that unilateral step, there could be no discussions between the two states'.

Al Arabiya interview

During the interview with Al Arabiya...

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