The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) clarified on Tuesday that talks with India can only take place after the country reverses its “illegal action of August 5, 2019”, which was aimed at illegally altering the demography of the Muslim-majority state of Indian occupied Kashmir.

“Without India’s revocation of this step, negotiations are not possible,” it said. The statement comes a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif asked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold serious and sincere talks to resolve burning issues, including Kashmir, and said the United Arab Emirates leadership could play an important role in bringing India and Pakistan to the table.

In an interview with UAE’s Al Arabiya news channel, the premier said: “My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that let us sit down on the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning issues like Kashmir.