Pakistan must resume back-channel talks with India, Pakistani Senators have said.
This is one of the 22 recommendations finalised on Wednesday by the Senate Committee of the Whole House, set up to formulate policy guidelines for the government on ties with India, the Dawn reported on Thursday.
“Keeping in view the need, efficacy and usefulness of back-channel talks between India and Pakistan, the talks should be restored,” said one of the recommendations approved by the committee during its in-camera meeting presided over by Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani.
“The bilateral and Kashmir-related confidence-building measures need to be restored and expanded,” it added.
The Senators stressed the need for working “towards bringing about a climate in which Pakistan and India can implement politically difficult decisions to build mutual trust and confidence, leading towards an honourable and amicable settlement of Jammu and Kashmir as well as peace and stability and the welfare of the people”.
The committee called for setting up an international fact-finding commission to investigate the terrorist attack on an army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir and human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir.
The committee’s recommendations come amid a serious deterioration in India-Pakistan ties after New Delhi blamed Pakistan for the September 18 Uri camp terror attack.
Besides calling for restoration of back-channel talks, the committee recommended that the two neighbours “should prompt a serious caution and restraint when faced with over-provocation”.
It also called for a task force to formulate a “doable and sustainable” Kashmir policy.
The members called for a comprehensive outreach to those segments of Indian public opinion which were opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “extremism and his anti-Pakistan policies”.
The Senators also urged the government to oppose the “blatant interference” of India in various parts of Pakistan, especially in Balochistan, the Dawn reported.
The members expressed concern over growing military ties between the US and India, saying this was promoting Indian hegemony in the region and was set to spark a new Cold War in South Asia.