Islamabad (Agencies): India and Pakistan will have to resolve the "core issue" of Kashmir according to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people if they want to give a boost to the peace process that is set to be resumed after an interregnum of over two years, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said on Saturday.

Addressing a briefing organised by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association of Pakistan, he referred to recent public protests in Jammu and Kashmir. Bashir said, "unless this core issue is resolved satisfactorily in accordance with the aspirations of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters, I don't see prospects in terms of a self-propelling peace process."

The upcoming talks to be held ahead of the Pakistani Foreign Minister's visit to New Delhi in July will have to "take cognisance of what has happened in the past in dialogue with India...and the actual ground situation" in Jammu and Kashmir, Bashir added.

There had been a "resurfacing of the uprising of Kashmiri youth, women and civil society" that was being "increasingly acknowledged by the international community and this cannot be wished away", he claimed.

"That has given an urgency to dealing with this core issue," he added.

"I don’t think we should jettison all the good work that was done by predecessors over 60 years, we should also not be lost totally in the archives," he said.

Asked about former Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri's remarks that the two countries were close to a settlement on Kashmir during the military regime of Pervez
Musharraf, Bashir appeared to distance himself from such claims and said discussions at that time were held on the back channel alone.

Following the decision at the meeting of the Foreign Secretaries in Thimphu to resume the stalled dialogue, Pakistan will approach the parleys with "an open and constructive mind" with a view to dealing with as many issues as possible, he said.

The peace process is "work in progress", he said.