ISLAMABAD - Any breakthrough on outstanding issues between India and Pakistan, including Kashmir and Siachen, are expected only after the Indian elections, Prime Minister's Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Saturday.

Back-channel talks are being held on the issues like Kashmir, Sir Creek and Siachen as it is Pakistan’s utmost endeavour to improve relations with India, Aziz told the state-run Radio Pakistan.

The composite dialogue is facing delays due to the upcoming polls in India, but the groups handling trade energy and the visa regime are conducting negotiations, he said. “Back-channel talks are continuing with India on the issues of Kashmir, Sir Creek and Siachen,” he said.

Pakistan has appointed former foreign secretary Shehryar Khan as its point man for back-channel talks while his Indian counterpart is former envoy SK Lambah.

Now when India is heading for the elections, peace on the Line of Control (LoC) and continuation of talks is necessary to avoid any tension in bilateral relations, he added. Aziz described Kashmir as a very important problem whose solution is imperative for improving Pakistan-India relations.

Several countries have realised the importance of peace between the two sides and are now evincing interest in the Kashmir dispute, he claimed. He further said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had invited his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan.

“Though there is less possibility of his visit, but if he wishes to visit Islamabad in the next few weeks, we will definitely welcome him,” he said.

Singh yesterday expressed the hope of visiting Pakistan in the next four months and said circumstances were not appropriate for a visit at present. Pakistan is keen to resume the composite dialogue with India, which was called off after an Indian soldier was allegedly decapitated in January last year along the LoC.

He said: “It is our utmost effort to improve relations with India and a significant lobby there also cherishes the same dream.”