NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s High commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood on Friday urged the two countries to “build a future different from the past,” full of “shared hope, opportunity and prosperity.”
Mahmood, who returned from Islamabad on Thursday after briefing his government about the reported harassment of Pakistani diplomats in India, was addressing guests at the high commission invited to celebrate the 70th National Day of Pakistan.
Welcoming the large gathering of diplomats, businessmen, journalists and other assorted guests, including many from Kashmir, Mahmood, who was flanked by India’s minister of state for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on the dais, said Pakistan had made huge strides towards realising its founder Md Ali Jinnah’s dream of turning the country into “an economically-strong, modern, moderate, democratic, Islamic welfare state. Since independence in 1947, Pakistan and India have completed 70 years as free nations. At the time of independence, our founding fathers had envisioned an amicable relationship between the two countries. The relations, however, evolved on a different trajectory.”
“Congratulating Prime Minister Modi on the Republic Day this January, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi expressed the hope that the years to come would be different from the years gone by. I do hope that at this pivotal moment, with India and Pakistan at 70, there would be hard reflection on the time lost, and the opportunities missed,” he said.