Pakistan on Monday 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 Press Club of India here.
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. Basit said the new government in Pakistan strongly realises that for pursuing the national and regional potential, peace is essential.
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“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 process. In the past, we have seen pre-conditions did not work, nor they can work in the future,” he said.
Many opportunities provided by globalisation to both the countries have been missed and time has come for new bilateral narrative, Basit said, adding “as neighbour we have no option but to talk to each other and normalise relations for mutual benefits.” “We have to leave the use of acrimony and hostility. We have to engage with each other. We have to talk to each other and talk to each other comprehensively, meaningfully and for our mutual interests and reciprocity,” he said.
Basit said Pakistan and India have to look for peace rather than create an atmosphere where there is no engagement and Islamabad is willing to engage in dialogue and go out for development agenda and can go beyond narrative. He also stressed that much had been achieved within the dialogue process and that it would be essential to build on the past work and take irreversible steps forward.