Nawaz Sharif welcomes Zardari`s visit to India
Last Updated: Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 00:14
Lahore: Former premier Nawaz Sharif has welcomed Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's recent visit to India and his efforts to normalise relations between the two countries, especially a proposal to revive cricketing ties.

"There should be negotiations between India and Pakistan on all issues, including Kashmir, so we can move forward on resolving these issues," the PML-N chief said.

Sharif described Zardari's day-long visit to India, where he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and offered prayers at a famous Sufi shrine at Ajmer, as "a step in the right direction".

Talking to reporters at the home of a PML-N leader in Lahore yesterday, Sharif hailed Zardari's call for the revival of cricketing ties.

He said the Pakistani team should visit India and the Indian side must undertake a tour of Pakistan, for which adequate security could be provided.

In a lighter vein, Sharif said he too was a good cricketer and would like to be part of the Pakistani team when an Indian side tours the country.

Sharif served as premier twice in the 1990s and played one first class cricket match as a batsman in 1974.

During his meeting with Prime Minister Singh on Sunday, Zardari called for the resumption of cricketing ties between the two countries.

Zardari reportedly said he was looking forward to the Indian cricket team touring Pakistan.

Singh told Zardari that he would take up the matter with the Indian cricket board.

Sharif said talks between India and Pakistan were essential for reducing tensions between the two countries.

The dialogue process must continue to find solutions to all issues, he said.

He further said he had spoken twice to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani regarding the USD 10 million bounty offered for Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed.

The US should have apprised Gilani before announcing the reward, he added.

Sharif pointed out that he had initiated a dialogue with the Indian government in 1999 when he was the premier.

If then army chief Pervez Musharraf had not derailed the peace process with India, all outstanding issues like Kashmir would have been resolved, he claimed.


First Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 00:14

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