ISLAMABAD - Encouraged by US President-elect Donald Trump’s overtures, during his telephonic talk with the prime minister a day earlier, and playing a role through his good office to resolve issues, Pakistan on Thursday said that it would welcome Trump’s help to resolve the decades-old Kashmir issue with India.

Addressing a weekly news briefing, Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said that Islamabad welcomed Trump's input on how to resolve the issue. He said that Pakistan desired a close relationship with the US, and wished to further strengthen it.

Trump had earlier offered mediation between Pakistan and India on the Kashmir dispute. Even before his election, Trump had said if elected, he would be willing to play a mediatory role in addressing the “very, very hot tinderbox” of Kashmir between Pakistan and India.

During this week’s telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Trump did not specifically mention the Kashmir dispute but did offer help for peace and stability.

Trump’s transition team offered few details about the conversation with Sharif. A three-sentence statement called the conversation ‘productive’ and said Trump is “looking forward to a lasting and strong personal relationship with Prime Minister Sharif.”

But a Pakistani statement quoted Trump at length as saying that he would “love to come to a fantastic country, a fantastic place of fantastic people.” It said Trump asked Sharif to convey his message to the Pakistani people that “they are amazing and all Pakistanis I have known are exceptional people.”

Trump, according to the Pakistani statement, also told Sharif that he was looking forward to seeing him soon. “As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people,” an official statement said.

Zakaria said that Pakistan welcomed Trump's willingness to play a role in resolving its outstanding problems with New Delhi.

He said there was a fake twitter account which was disseminating misleading information about the Pakistan’s missions in the United States. “We have also issued a statement in this regard last evening. Besides this, we have also identified a number of other such fake accounts, which are spreading incorrect or false information with malicious intent regarding Pakistan and its high offices,” he said.

The spokesperson said that Pakistan had longstanding relations with the US. “We attach high importance to our relations with them. We look forward to working with the new administration when it assumes charge of the office to further strengthen this relationship,” he elaborated.

Answering a question, he said that Pakistan “despite India’s negativity in scuttling” the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) process would attend the Heart of Asia Conference due to its commitment to Afghanistan’s peace and stability. “India has been instrumental in scuttling the SAARC summit, and Pakistan despite all negativity of India is going to participate in the conference,” the FO spokesman said.Sartaj Aziz will attend the Heart of Asia Conference being held from December 3 to 4 in Amritsar, India. The spokesman said the Heart of Asia Conference would follow the previous agenda as the 14 countries would take stock of the progress.

“Every country has its own share of bringing stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s participation means its commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he said.

Zakaria said that Pakistan believed in a peaceful neighbourhood and regarded dialogue as the best option for resolution of issues.

He, however, categorically said that Pakistan would not accept any pre-conditions for holding dialogue with India. It was always India that was putting up conditions for dialogue with Pakistan, he said.

Zakaria said the current phase of indigenous self-determination movement in Indian occupied Kashmir had entered the fifth month and was continuing in the face of worst violations of human rights of defenceless Kashmiris at the hands of Indian occupation forces.

“The world has before it the unending sufferings and misery of over a thousand Kashmiris including children, who have been deliberately blinded,” he said.

The spokesman said that doctors in Indian occupied Kashmir have expressed their dissatisfaction and rejected “as ambiguous” a report compiled by the Ophthalmology Pathologists in India, suspecting that there was something else about the pellet shots that were causing insides of the eye to turn into a charcoal-like substance.

Zakaria said that Pakistan had been insisting sending an independent fact-finding mission to the held Kashmir and similar demands from the UN High Commissioner in Geneva, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and OIC Contact Group’s Members had not been met.

He said there was no incident of stopping Hindu pilgrims from visiting Pakistan. “Let me tell you that there have been visits by the Sikh community last month and thousands of Sikhs have travelled to Pakistan for their religious rituals. People from India have visited the holy places in Sindh as well for religious rites, recently,” he added.

To a question about ‘Indian soldier Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chawan’ who strayed into Pakistani side of Line of Control and his brother’s appeal, he said: “Regarding a specific tweet by Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi (to consider the appeal on humanitarian grounds), I can’t comment as I haven’t seen the tweet you are referring to. I am not sure if the reference is to those fake twitter accounts, which I mentioned earlier.”

He said Pakistan’s hockey team applied for the Indian visa on October 24 and “waited for visas until November 28.”

On India’s growing relations with Israel and Bangladesh, the spokesman said that Pakistan without commenting on bilateral relations between any two countries, however, stresses that ties should not affect the third country.

Regarding Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement refuting media reports of negotiations with Pakistan regarding its inclusion in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the spokesman said, “the statement is self-explanatory”. He said that Pakistan-Russia relationship was growing steadily and “we give high importance to it”.

Whether Pakistan could unilaterally offer other countries to join CPEC, Zakaria said, “the CPEC is the project of both China and Pakistan and both countries would decide as how and what sort of indulgence and participation of other countries would be made in the CPEC and CPEC-related projects”.

The spokesman expressed shock over the tragic plane crash of Brazilian soccer team and said Adviser Sartaj Aziz in his letter to Brazilian Foreign Minister had conveyed condolences.

Asked about the possibility of Chinese naval ships and submarines’ deployment along with the Pakistan Navy to guard Gwadar port, he said, “I think you should refer this question to the military or Naval authorities. I don’t have the details on this.”

About the recent meetings between Prime Minister Sharif and President Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of Global Conference in Ashgabat, he said the occasions such as Global Conference on Sustainable Transport in Turkmenistan afford opportunities to hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines.

“The two leaders had a very cordial meeting and exchanged views on a range of issues of mutual interest, including bilateral and regional matters. The relationship between the two countries has its roots in history and tied in unbreakable bonds of fraternity and religious affinity between the people of the two countries. In bilateral relations of any countries, it usual that there would be both differences and convergences, which the countries’ leadership take stock of during such interactions,” he said.

Commenting on Indian propaganda on water, he said the Indus Waters Treaty was binding on both India and Pakistan, especially under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969.