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Pakistan dismisses Indian charges of terrorism

Foreign Ministry calls for peaceful dialogue over Kashmir correspondent, Islamabad

August 14, 2014

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Pakistan Wednesday dismissed accusations by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that it was waging a "proxy war" in the disputed Kashmir region.

"Prime Minister Modi is repeating baseless rhetoric against Pakistan regarding terrorism," Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said in a statement.

Aslam said Pakistan has consistently condemned terrorism in all forms and manifestations.

On Tuesday, Modi accused Pakistan of waging a proxy war in Kashmir during a visit to Kargil, scene of a deadly 1999 conflict with Pakistan. Modi's visit came a day after Pakistan lodged a protest over cross-border Indian firing that resulted in one civilian casualty in Sialkot sector.

"Having lost the lives of 55,000 of its citizens as a result of terrorism, Pakistan is the biggest victim of the menace," Aslam said.

"Press reports of Indian accusations, at the highest political level, are most unfortunate, especially as the leadership of Pakistan wishes to establish good neighborly relations with India," she said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to India in May generated fresh momentum in the bilateral relationship, Aslam said.

"It would be in the larger interest of regional peace that instead of engaging in a blame game, the two countries should focus on resolving all issues through dialogue and work together to promote friendly and cooperative relations," she said.

Meanwhile, Sharif also called for a solution to the Kashmir dispute.

"We want a peaceful solution to the Kashmir conflict so that Pakistan and India could improve their relations," Sharif said while addressing a ceremony held in Islamabad to mark the country's Independence Day.

Fighting between Indian forces and rebel groups seeking independence for Kashmir or a merger of the territory with Pakistan has killed tens of thousands since 1989, mostly civilians. 

A Pakistani army incursion in the Kargil area 15 years ago triggered a conflict between the two countries that killed more than 1,000 people on both sides. Since 1999, India has maintained a heavy military presence in Muslim-majority Kargil in the mountainous Kashmiri region of Ladakh.

The nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors have fought three wars since their independence in 1947. Ties remain strained since the 2008 Mumbai attacks that India blames on the Pakistan-based banned militant group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, a charge that Islamabad denies.

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