Pak High Commissioner downplays meetings with separatists
Downplaying his meetings with Kashmiri separatists, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit today said India was not against it and expressed hope that Indo-Pak talks would continue "more seriously and more sincerely".
New Delhi: Downplaying his meetings with Kashmiri separatists, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit today said India was not against it and expressed hope that Indo-Pak talks would continue "more seriously and more sincerely".
"I don't think Indian government is objecting. I would rather suggest my media friends not to make an issue out of a non-issue," Basit said on the sidelines of an event here to mark the Pakistan National Day.
India had called off foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan last year after Basit held consultations with the separatist Hurriyat leaders on the eve of the official talks.
Referring to the recent visit of Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to his country, the envoy said Pakistan was looking forward to resumption of the engagement process.
"Let's hope that engagement will continue. We are looking forward to more meetings between our countries. We hope when our engagement resumes, we will talk on all issues, this time around more seriously and more sincerely," he said.
In a statement, he also underlined his Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's vision of "peace for development and development for peace" and said his country was keen to settle all issues with India, including that of Jammu and Kashmir, through dialogue.
Basit said peace was in the interest of two countries, stressing that it was high time to "normalise relations and usher in a new era of peace and stability, enabling the two countries to address the challenges facing our region".