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‘Pak govt, military willing to hold talks with India’

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Islamabad, Sep 07: The Pakistani government and the military are willing to hold talks with India for regional peace, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Friday.

In an interview to BBC Urdu, the minister said that while Pakistan is willing to hold talks, the present government has not received any positive indication from India.

"(Prime Minister) Imran Khan has given many hints to New Delhi in this regard," Chaudhry told the publication.

"As soon as he was elected Prime Minister, Imran (Khan) invited Indian cricketers... In his first speech, he said that we will take two steps forward in response to one step from New Delhi," Chaudhry said.

He further added that Khan also spoke to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, according to the report.

Chaudhry further said that military is in agreement with the government's decision to approach India to improve ties and hold talks. "Both Khan and General Qamar Javed Bajwa understand that a country cannot progress in isolation," he said.

"Both leaders understand that we will be left behind in the race of development if regional peace is not ensured."

Chaudhry also said that Pakistan will soon open the Kartar Singh border for Sikh pilgrims and allow them to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur without having to obtain a visa.

"A system has been formed for the pilgrims entering Pakistan," he said.(Agencies)

Pak supports 'self-determination' in Kashmir: Gen Bajwa

Islamabad, Sep 07 (PTI) Pakistan Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa has reaffirmed Islamabad's support for "self-determination" in Jammu and Kashmir.

He also said the Pakistan Army learnt a lot from the 1965 and 1971 wars with India and has made the country's defence impregnable by developing nuclear weapons.

Addressing the Defence Day ceremony organised at the Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi on Thursday, attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Bajwa said Pakistan supported the people in Jammu and Kashmir in their "struggle for the right to self-determination".

Pakistan observes September 06 as the Defence and Martyrs Day to mark the anniversary of the 1965 war with India.

"We have learned a lot from the wars of 65 and 71. We were able to further strengthen our defence forces in the wake of these wars. Despite difficult economic times, we were able to become an atomic power," Bajwa said.

"September 06, 1965, is an important day in the history of our nation," he said, adding that Pakistani soldiers jumped into the fiery pits of warfare but did not let the country be harmed.

Prime Minister Khan, in his address, said Pakistan will never fight any other country's war in future and his government's foreign policy will be in the best interest of the nation.

"We will not become part of a war of any other country (in future)...Our foreign policy will be in the best interest of the nation," he said, apparently referring to the country's involvement in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Pakistan was the ally of the United States during the Cold War as it fought the American war with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

Khan also praised the Pakistani armed forces for combating terrorism.

"No other nation has fought the war on terror like the Pakistan Army," he said.

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