Islamabad: When Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was on Wednesday reminded of his Indian counterpart's description of him as a "man of peace", he retorted that he was a "man of crisis" as far as Pakistan's politics were concerned.
During a meeting with a visiting Indian parliamentary delegation last evening, the lawmakers noted that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had "rightly said that
Yousuf Raza Gilani was a man of peace".
Gilani responded by saying that "in the context of Pakistani politics, he was a man of crisis," according to a statement issued by the Premier's office.
The Premier said his government was committed to a "constructive, sustained and result-oriented process of engagement with India".
He recalled his meetings with Singh at Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt, Thimpu in Bhutan, Mohali and the Maldives on the sidelines of the last SAARC Summit.
Referring to his visit to Mohali last year to watch the semi-final of the cricket World Cup between India and Pakistan, Gilani recalled his meeting with Congress president Sonia Ghandi and other top Indian leaders.
These interactions "created an enabling environment" that paved the way for a meaningful dialogue process, he said. Former ministers Mani Shankar Aiyar and Yashwant Sinha, both members of the Indian delegation, told Gilani that uninterrupted dialogue can bring peace and stability to both countries on a durable basis.
Such a development "could entitle both the Prime Ministers for a Nobel Peace Prize”, they were quoted as saying.
Aiyar and Sinha said they had observed a "complete transformation in Pakistan in terms of the friendly and hospitable environment" as compared to their last visit in January last year.
The Indian lawmakers were in Islamabad for a two-day dialogue with their Pakistani counterparts that was organised by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development.
First Published: Thursday, January 19, 2012, 09:32