Pakistan on Wednesday described as "incorrect" a media report that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had contended the Kashmir issue is a flashpoint which "can trigger a fourth war" with India.
"Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is of the opinion that any issue of conflict between Pakistan and India has to be resolved through peaceful means," said a statement issued by his office.
The influential Dawn daily had quoted Sharif as saying that "Kashmir is a flashpoint and can trigger a fourth war between the two nuclear powers at any time". The report said he made the remarks during a brief address to the Council of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in Muzaffarabad on Tuesday.
The statement from Sharif's office said: "Prime Minister of Pakistan never uttered these words and the news item is baseless, incorrect and based on malafide intentions."
A statement from Sharif's office last night regarding his address to the PoK Council had touched on India-Pakistan relations but did not contain any remarks about the Kashmir issue triggering a war.
During his address on Tuesday, Sharif contended that India had indulged in an arms race. "We were drawn into arms race by India," he told the Council.
He also expressed his satisfaction that the situation on the Line of Control had improved.
On the Kashmir dispute, Sharif had "expressed his dismay at the contradictory stance taken by the Indian government" in addressing the "core issue".
During a meeting with leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference in Muzaffarabad yesterday, Sharif had said it was his desire that the Kashmir issue should be resolved at the earliest.
The longstanding issue must be settled in accordance with UN resolutions, he said. He had claimed that the Indian government's repeated declaration that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of its territory, despite UN resolutions on the subject, "shows its lack of sincerity to resolve the matter".
He had also asked the world community to play its role in settling the Kashmir issue.