Sunday, Nov 23, 2014

Pakistan eager to resume talks with new Indian govt, says envoy

Asked if that would include BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, high commissioner Abdul Basit stressed that Pakistan will do business with any government that comes to power as a result of the elections. Tashi Tobgyal Abdul Basit. (Tashi Tobgyal)
Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: April 10, 2014 3:11 am | Updated: April 10, 2014 7:38 am

Pakistan is looking forward to engaging with India’s next prime minster and any government which comes to power, and hopes the two countries do not lose much time in this process, Islamabad’s new envoy to New Delhi said Wednesday.

Asked if that would include BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, high commissioner Abdul Basit stressed that Pakistan will do business with any government that comes to power as a result of the elections.

Asked if Pakistan would give a visa to Modi — since the US had denied him a visa — Basit said: “Pakistan (has) never denied visa to anyone, so let’s hope our engagement will be resumed as quickly as possible.”

“Pakistan looks forward to the point when a new government takes over in India and, obviously, it is not for us to say who should be the next prime minister or the next government,” Basit said at an Idea Exchange interaction at The Indian Express.

“It is for the people of India to decide. We would be willingly and readily engaging with that government. At the same time, we hope that we will not lose much time in this process. From our perspective, it will be absolutely imperative that our two countries resume the engagement process and engage more fruitfully. We are really looking forward to that,” said Basit, who presented his credentials to President Pranab Mukherjee last week.

“We are looking forward to any government that takes over here in Delhi as a result of elections…we are looking forward to engage with the next prime minister,” he added

From Pakistan’s perspective, he said the effort will be to make the dialogue process “sustainable”, so that it is “not disrupted or interrupted”. He said there might be “forces on both sides of the border” who would want to disrupt the process, but the leadership should not be hostage and has to rise above these things.

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