Now, Pakistan Reaches Out to India
NEW DELHI: Pakistan has again reached out to the new dispensation in New Delhi, with High Commissioner Abdul Basit hoping that an early dialogue would be resumed without any pre-conditions - even as reports arrived of an Indian jawan being killed by a Pakistan border action team.
Speaking to reporters, Basit said that Pakistan was ready to host Modi whenever he decides to visit the country. “Our Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has already extended an invitation to him,” he said.
The timing of his remarks clashed with the reports of an Indian army jawan being killed and two others being injured in an attack along the Line of Control in Akhnor by a suspected module of Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT). The BAT was earlier accused of beheading an Indian soldier in January 2012 and then ambush and killing of five army men in Poonch in July 2012.
Further, the HC’s reconciliatory words also came soon after two Indian journalists were forced to leave Pakistan after their visas were not renewed. India had termed their virtual expulsion as a “retrograde step”. This was seen as an indication that despite overtures of the Sharif Government, the Army was indicating that relations with India continued to be its domain. At the same time, Pakistan continued to make the right diplomatic gestures - with Pakistan PM being one of the first world leaders to speak to Narendra Modi after it was clear that the BJP got a landslide win in the elections. Meanwhile, Basit, who has been specially chosen by Sharif for the post of the High Commissioner to India despite not having previous experience here, said that Pakistan realises that peace was essential to pursue national and regional potential.
“In the vision of our foreign policy, it is the top-most priority. Peace is in our mutual interest and peace can be achieved only through peaceful process that is through dialogue.
In the past, we have seen pre-conditions did not work, nor they can work in the future,” he said, Hinting that India should not be too obsessed with making progress in Mumbai 26/11 trials as a basis for substantive talks, he claimed that the two “democratic countries” have to decide “whether to bury the hatchet or continue to be at daggers drawn indefinitely”.