Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, while speaking at the Minerals Summit Pakistan, earlier this week, alluded to the resumption of engagement with India. Said Sharif: “We have nothing against anybody. We have to look after our own self, build our nation, even with our neighbour. We are prepared to talk to them, provided that the neighbour is serious to talk serious matters on the table because war is no more an option.”
This statement comes 6 months after an interview with Al Arabiya in which the Pakistan Prime Minister had alluded to the possibility of talks with India (this interview had been given to Al Arabiya in the eve of a visit to the UAE). The Pakistan PM had called for UAE to media between both countries and said that any talks between both countries would be subject to the discussion of Kashmir. India had rejected this offer.
Timing of the statement, Pakistan’s economy and the CPEC
The key priority of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), led Shehbaz Sharif government ever since it took over last year in April was to get the country’s economy back on track. While the country has been on the brink of economic collapse, it has got some respite in the past few weeks.