NEW DELHI – Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has emphasised that Pakistan and India as neighbours had no other option but to talk to each other and normalize relations to their mutual benefit.
He expressed these views during a lunch hosted by him for members of the Press Club of India in the High Commission. Over 60 members of the club led by its president Anand Kishore Sahay attended the event.
Welcoming the guests, the high commissioner said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had congratulated the people of India for the successful elections and the BJP leadership for the party’s unprecedented landslide victory.
Prime Minister Nawaz expressed the hope that the decisive mandate received by the BJP would help push forward the agenda of peace for development between Pakistan and India. Abdul Basit said that people in both countries longed for peace and prosperity.
He said that Pakistan leadership was committed to a result-oriented dialogue process. He hoped comprehensive bilateral engagement would resume sooner than later. In his remarks, the PCI president thanked the high commissioner for hosting the lunch, assuring him that Indian journalists would also do their best to contribute towards promoting a suitable atmosphere.
In an interactive session over the lunch, the high commissioner responded to many questions. He underlined that South Asia faced many common challenges including poverty, disease and illiteracy. As the two major countries and democracies in the region, Pakistan and India should work together to overcome all challenges and harness the cooperative agenda.
Abdul Basit 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.