ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday said dialogue is the only logical way out to resolve decades-old issues between Pakistan and India.

“We will not take any threat lightly and will not hesitate for a moment in responding. But Pakistan wants to resolve all the outstanding issues with India through composite dialogue,” he said addressing the joint session of the parliament.

“If they want us to compete with them in fight against poverty, they should realise that poverty cannot be eradicated by driving tanks on farmlands,” Nawaz said, in an apparent response to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that the two countries should battle to eradicate poverty.

The joint session of the parliament was summoned to discuss Kashmir issue, especially the human rights violation in occupied Kashmir, and situation arising out of Indian ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC).

Premier Nawaz, in his written speech, said Pakistan had no aggressive designs against any country, but it would forcefully respond if its national security was in danger. “Pakistan is a responsible state but its desire of peace should not be considered as weakness,” he remarked.

“Our armed forces are capable to thwart any foreign aggression effectively. The whole nation stands with the armed forces for the defence of country.

“We have done everything to make India come to the dialogue table, but India did not let it happen. Our efforts were thwarted over and over again. I would like to repeat our stance that we are against war. We want peace in the region. We want to resolve all outstanding disputes through dialogue.”

He said if India desired joint efforts against poverty than it must not rely merely on rhetoric, but should take practical steps and pointed to the contradictory approach by India in their words and deeds. He, however, said that the objective could not be achieved by passing through “fields of explosives and blood”.

The Premier said Pakistan wanted a peaceful resolution of the lingering Kashmir dispute. He said the whole world was aware of the fact that “despite presence of 700,000 troops” India could not “suppress” the voice of Kashmiris. He said with every passing day the will of the Kashmiris was getting strength.

He said the Kashmir liberation struggle had taken a new turn after the killing of Burhan Muzaffar Wani, whose death was now a symbol of Kashmiris freedom movement. He said that despite grave human rights violations India cannot make the innocent Kashmiris hostage.

Nawaz Sharif called upon the world community to play its positive role for implementation of the UN resolutions without any delay, stressing that durable peace in region was possible only by resolving this issue. “Kashmir should be granted the right of plebiscite according to the United Nations Security Council resolutions.”

He said Pakistan’s relations with Kashmiris have political, religious, geographical and cultural history. “We had made commitment to extend all possible political, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiris. We stood by our commitment in the past, are continuing it in the present and will continue it in future with the same spirit.”

The PM said his government had raised voice against the Indian brutalities at all the world fora, and in his address to UN General Assembly he demanded international investigation into ‘human rights violations’ in Kashmir.

About Indian propaganda against Pakistan, the PM said government was fully aware of gravity of situation and defending country on diplomatic front.

He said Pakistan wanted to have peace in the region and had no aggressive designs, but at the same time the country was capable to address any challenge effectively. He called upon India to come forward and work together or compete with Pakistan for elimination of poverty and unemployment from the region, and work for the welfare of the people of the region.