Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif Calls for Talks With India: What Was His Message to Modi?

Pak PMO later clarified and said that talks will be possible only after India reverses its call on Article 370.

3 min read
Pak PM Shehbaz Sharif Calls for Talks With India: What Was His Message to Modi?

The Quint DAILY

For impactful stories you just can’t miss

By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called for “serious and sincere talks” with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on “burning points like Kashmir” during an interview that aired on Monday, 16 January.

During an interview to Arabic TV news channel Al Arabiya, Sharif said that Pakistan has learned its lesson after three massive wars with its neighbours, India, and further stressed that it wants peace with New Delhi.

He said, "We have had three wars with India, and they have only brought more misery, poverty, and unemployment to the people."

'Have Learnt Our Lesson'

"We have learnt our lesson, and we want to live in peace with India, provided we are able to resolve our genuine problems," Sharif further told the Dubai-based news channel.

“My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Modi is that let's sit down on the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning points like Kashmir. It is up to us to live peacefully and make progress or quarrel with each other and waste time and resources.”
Shehbaz Sharif to news channel Al Arabia TV

Subsequently, the Pakistani Prime Minister's Office (PMO) issued a clarification in a series of tweets, saying that Sharif had made it clear that talks will only be possible when India reverses the abrogation of Article 370, which granted autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan faces several crippling challenges, owed to a severe ongoing economic crisis, public outrage over the flour crisis and fuel shortage, but most importantly, has also faced rising incidents of terror attacks by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which ended a ceasefire with the country’s security forces last year.

“Let's be very blunt, even if we are not neighbours by choice we are there forever and it is up to us for us to live peacefully and progress or quarrel with each other and waste time and resources. That is up to us," Sharif said in the interview.

Old Wounds: Sharif Pokes at Kashmir 

One of the most contentious items on the list of India and Pakistan’s shared interests has to be Jammu and Kashmir.

Sharif raised the issue in this interview and claimed that Pakistan wants peace, “but what is happening in Kashmir should be stopped,” alleging that the region witnesses a “flagrant violation of human rights.”

He also pointed out that the Pakistan line has been dismissed by New Delhi.

Sharif said the people of Kashmir deserved “whatever semblance of autonomy was given to the Kashmiris in the Constitution, under Article 370 which (was) revoked in August 2019”.

Without speaking much on the topic, Sharif raised an issue that has remained a divider between the two neighbours, and strongly claimed that minorities in India are being “grossly mishandled,” even though the Indian government has remained steady in their belief and dismissed the charge.

The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader also said that both countries have great strengths vested in the large number of engineers, doctors, and skilled labourers.

"We want to utilise these assets for prosperity and to bring peace to the region so that both nations can grow,” he said.

Sharif also claimed that Pakistan does not want to waste resources on bombs and ammunition.

Pointing out that both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers who are “armed to the teeth,” Sharif asked, “if God forbids, a war breaks out, who will live to tell what happened?"

The Clarification

Following the interview and widespread media coverage, the Pakistan PMO issued a clarification that claimed that during the interview, PM Sharif consistently maintained that while India and Pakistan must resolve their issues through bilateral dialogue and peace, such talks shall commence only after India revokes the abrogation of Article 370.


In a now-deleted tweet, the Pakistan PMO said:

“In ref. to PM Shehbaz Sharif’s interview to Al Arabiya, the spokesman of the PM Office has said the PM has consistently maintained that Pakistan & India must resolve their bilateral issues, especially the core issue of Jammu & Kashmir, through dialogue and peaceful means.”

It added, “The settlement of the Kashmir dispute must be in accordance with the UN resolutions & aspirations of people of Jammu & Kashmir.”

Back in November 2022, India slammed Pakistan for bringing up the Kashmir issue during a debate at the United Nations, calling it "desperate attempts to peddle falsehoods".

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from news and world

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member

25 10% off


100 10% off


200 10% off

or more


3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
More News