(This was originally posted in WION)
Saudi Arabia has emphasised the importance of dialogue between Pakistan and India to resolve their outstanding matters, including the Kashmir issue. Pakistan Foreign Office on Saturday night released a joint statement agreed between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia after Prime Minister Imran Khan held high-level talks with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Khan is on an official visit to Saudi Arabia from May 7 to May 9.
“The two sides emphasised the importance of dialogue between Pakistan and India to resolve the outstanding issues between the two countries, especially Jammu and Kashmir issue, to ensure peace and stability in the region,” according to the joint statement. The Crown Prince welcomed the recent understanding reached between the military authorities of Pakistan and India regarding ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC), which is based on a 2003 understanding between Pakistan and India.
The militaries of India and Pakistan, in a surprise announcement on February 25, said that they have agreed to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and other sectors.
India has told Pakistan that it desires normal neighbourly relations with it in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. During Khan’s Saudi visit, the two sides also reviewed all facets of bilateral cooperation and discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest and agreed to further strengthen the relationship in diverse fields.
They signed an agreement on the establishment of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SPSCC). An MoU on combating illicit traffic in narcotics, drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals was also signed. They also inked a framework MoU between Saudi Fund for Development and Pakistan for financing projects in energy, hydropower generation, Infrastructure, transport communication and water resource development.
Cooperation agreements in the field of combating crimes and on the transfer of convicted prisoners were also signed. The two leaders also stressed the need for concerted efforts by the Muslim countries to confront extremism and violence, reject sectarianism, and strive to achieve international peace and security. They called for joint efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.