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SOURCE: Hindustan Times

PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said the summit between the US and North Korea was an example that could be emulated by India and Pakistan, though he insisted a bilateral dialogue should begin with the issue of Kashmir.

Hours after President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un signed a document that committed their countries to work for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, Sharif said India and Pakistan could take steps similar to those taken by the US and North Korea to “return from the brink of a nuclear flashpoint”.

“(The) Singapore Summit between USA & North Korea should set a good precedent for Pakistan & India to follow. Ever since the start of Korean War, the two nations have been at odds with one another; both threatening to use military force with their nuclear arsenals facing each other,” he said in a series of tweets.

“If the United States and North Korea can return from the brink of a nuclear flashpoint, there is no reason why Pakistan and India cannot do the same, beginning with a dialogue on Kashmir whose heroic people have resisted and rejected Indian occupation,” he added.

India and Pakistan have not held any substantive talks for almost a decade after the 2008 Mumbai attacks sent bilateral ties into a tailspin. Though Shehbaz Sharif’s brother, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, attended his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in 2014, the two sides were unable to put their ties back on an even keel.

Though Modi made a surprise visit to Lahore to meet Nawaz Sharif in December 2015, the momentum in ties was disrupted by a series of terror attacks on Indian military facilities the next year that were blamed on Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Ties were hit further by frequent exchanges of fire on the Line of Control. A string of meetings and contacts between the National Security Advisers and an agreement by the Directors General of Military Operations last month to fully implement the 2003 ceasefire helped bring things under control along the LoC.

Shehbaz Sharif, who is tipped as the PML-N’s prime ministerial candidate for the July 25 general elections, called for “comprehensive peace talks in our region”. The international community “must focus on the peace process in Afghanistan” and dialogue between India and Pakistan “over Kashmir should also resume, so that the long-festering Kashmir dispute is resolved in accordance with UN resolutions”, he added.