Pakistan is ready for a “broad-ranging,sincere and clear sighted” dialogue with India to resolve all issues,its High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir said on Sunday even as he dubbed as “baseless” the reports of terrorist incursions from its soil into Indian territory.
“If there are issues (for India),we have concerns equally. Let us address each other’s concerns and the logical and rational way forward… the civilised way for this is to have a dialogue. Pakistan is ready for this,” Bashir,who is on a three-day visit to Hyderabad,told a press conference.
He also stressed on the need to reinforce the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) between the two countries and denied as “baseless” reports of terrorist “incursions” into Indian territory from Pakistan.
“There is a will and determination on both sides to build friendship and improve relations. This was evident in the recent meeting of the Prime Ministers of the two countries in New York. The one logical way to resolve all issues is through dialogue. That is essential for development of the two nations,” he added.
Bashir said the strategic priority for Pakistan was its economic and social development. “Without that everything remains just words,” he added.
“We have no second thoughts. In Pakistan’s national interest,we need to have good relations with India. Aspirations in the two nations are the same. Ground realities should be looked at in an objective way,” the Pakistan envoy said.
Reacting to a query on infiltration from Pakistan into India,Bashir said,”The narrative you are hearing about incursions and infiltrations is baseless. But,rather than commenting on this very negative narrative about incursions,what we have been saying,and repeat,is let the competent authorities,the military authorities,deal with this issue.”
Reiterating that Pakistan had been a witness to the horrors of terrorism,Bashir pointed out that his country had seen a spate of terror attacks in recent days which had left hundreds of civilians and scores of security personnel dead.
“The whole narrative of terrorism by Pakistan is misplaced. We are suffering more due to terror than anybody else. What is the source of funding for these terrorists,in Pakistan,India and elsewhere? Fidayeen are being used as fodder. But who are their masters,” he questioned.
Pakistan had evidence of this,which it shared with India and was ready to share with the world,as to who was fuelling terrorism,Bashir said.
“And,you must never forget… We have exercised great restraint and responsibility and we are at the forefront of counter-terrorism measures. Unfortunately,this is never reported in the Indian media,” the Pakistan envoy said.
Bashir said terrorism was “not local” to Pakistan but was global and also regional. “It is something we all condemn wholeheartedly,” he said.
On Kashmir,he said,”If you talk about Kashmir,it’s a different issue. It’s about people of Kashmir and their right to self-determination,as recognised by the United Nations. That brings in the whole perspective of fundamental rights of the people. So,I think we should not mix these things”.
Bashir said,”We are prepared to discuss these issues,the difficult things. But if you combine this with the narrative (in Indian media),which is not so good about Pakistan,especially in the last few days… it does nobody any good”.
He observed that whatever be the issues of today,they must not cloud the vision for a better tomorrow.
Earlier in the day,Bashir planted a sapling at the upcoming Bio-diversity Park at Gachchibowli.
“The plant is not only our commitment to bio-diversity,but also a symbol of our friendship with India,” he said.
Later,he attended a lunch hosted by Rahnuma-e-Deccan Chief Editor Syed Vicaruddin.
Bashir,along with his wife,visited historic sites and tourism spots in Hyderabad on his “first visit to a city in south India”.