Pakistan on Saturday made a strong pitch for normalisation of ties with India after last month’s “political setback” and said in diplomacy one should keep or leave the “door ajar” so that whatever was possible could be achieved.
The remarks were made by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit here, days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said there was no “full stop” in diplomacy while replying on the future strategy towards talks with Pakistan.
Addressing a meet of businessmen from India and Pakistan, Basit also talked about his meeting with India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval earlier in the day and said both agreed that destinies of both the nations are inter-linked and there was a need to move forward.
“We both agreed that the time has now come to get out of this pattern (taking a step forward and two steps ackward) and to have a new narrative which helps our two countries to keep moving forward. That is easier said than done,” Basit said at the meet, held on the margins of Pakistan trade fair here.
“Unfortunately, there has been a setback last month. I would say political setback. But that should not in any manner deter us from continuing with our efforts and I am confident that things will come back on track,” Basit said.
The Pakistan top envoy said there are complex problems between both the countries but, irrespective of that, India and Pakistan should move forward.
“We understand that the complex problems would not go away. They will be there. On certain issues, we will have agreements or compromise quickly but on other issues we will perhaps have to wait longer. But important is to keep moving forward and we hope that this trend will continue in days, months and years ahead,” he added.
Welcoming Swaraj’s remarks, the Pakistan’s top envoy said, “In diplomacy, you keep or leave a door ajar. So, that whatever is possible, that is achieved.”
Basit said where diplomats have failed, business community on both sides have come a long way in bringing the two countries together.
“We hope that we (diplomats) would be able to follow your (businessmen) footsteps and try to build on the work which you people on both sides have been doing.
“It is a very complex relationship. It is not a linear relationship. It has many ups and downs. We take a step forward and two steps backward. This has been the pattern for the last 67 years,” he said.
India had called off the talks between the two Foreign Secretaries scheduled to be held in Islamabad on August 25, telling Pakistan bluntly to choose between an Indo-Pak dialogue or hobnobbing with the separatists.
Ahead of Islamabad meet, Basit had invited Kashmiri separatists here for consultations.