Shehbaz Sharif | AFP
Islamabad: Pakistan has learnt a "lesson" and want to live in peace with India, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said, emphasising that the two neighbours should not waste their resources on bombs and ammunition.
Prime Minister Sharif made these comments during an interview with the Dubai-based Al Arabiya news channel on Monday.
Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained over the Kashmir issue and cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
"We have three wars with India and it only brought more misery, poverty and unemployment to the people," Sharif 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," he said.
He said Pakistan and India are neighbours and have to "live with each other."
"We have learnt our lesson and we want to live in peace provided we are able to resolve our genuine problems. We want to alleviate poverty, achieve prosperity, and provide education and health facilities and employment to our people and not waste our resources on bombs and ammunition, that is the message I want to give to Prime Minister Modi," Sharif said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Prime Minister's Office on Tuesday said Sharif has consistently maintained that Pakistan and India must resolve their bilateral issues, especially the core issue of Kashmir, through dialogue.
The statement came following his interview.
The spokesperson said Sharif has repeatedly stated that talks with India can only take place after New Delhi reversed its action of bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir in 2019.
The ties between the two countries nosedived after India abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the State into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019.
India's decision evoked a strong reaction from Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian envoy.
Trade ties between Pakistan and India have essentially been frozen since then.
“Without India's revocation of this step, negotiations are not possible,” the PMO statement said.