Pakistan welcome Modi

Pak ready to welcome Modi, hopes to resolve differences and disputes

Pakistan today said it was looking forward to a visit by Narendra Modi as Indian Prime Minister and hoped that the two countries would resolve “differences and disputes” through an early dialogue.

“We are ready to host Narendra Modi when he decides to visit Pakistan. Our Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has already extended an invitation to him,” Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said in an interaction with members of Pres Club of India.

Basit said people in both the countries longed for peace and prosperity and it was, therefore, mutually incumbent to spare no effort towards resolving all the “bilateral differences and disputes”.

He said Pakistan leadership was committed to a result- oriented dialogue process and hoped that comprehensive bilateral engagement would resume sooner than later.

“Now the two democratic countries have to decide whether we will bury the hatchet or will continue to be at daggers drawn indefinitely. The two countries and the people cannot afford to move in wrong direction and to be on the wrong side of the history,” he said.

“It (J&K) is an important issue and government of India has to fulfil its commitment given to the world. It is part of the composite dialogue. We should not shy away from contentious issues. When we will deal with each of the issues, we will be able to move forward,” he said.

Basit said there was a national consensus in Pakistan to have normal friendly relations and Islamabad was willing to engage with the new Government in New Delhi.

“But there cannot be pre-condition for any talks,” he said, adding Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the new Government in India have come to power with decisive mandate and they were in a position to take “decisive decisions”.

“The next 4-5 months are important… How things move forward,” he said.

Asked whether there is possibility of ‘third party intervention’ to resolve bilateral issues, Basit said countries like the US always encourage India and Pakistan to have dialogue but “at the end of the day, the two countries have to sit together and discuss”.

Asked to flag issues which are doable, the High Commissioner said all issues, including J&K, Siachen, trade and cultural issue, can be discussed and all issues are doable.

“We have been engaged in composite dialogue process. All can be discussed and everything is doable. Once the process is started, we will progress. One cannot expect progress in each areas but there are many areas where we can move forward. There are areas where we can move fast while there are areas where longer time will be taken to resolve issues. (AGENCIES)

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