Zardari praises Bihar`s `model of development`
Islamabad: Pakistan wishes to have "friendly, cooperative and good neighbourly relations" with India as there are tremendous opportunities for the two countries to enhance cooperation for their mutual benefit, President Asif Ali Zardari has said.
Zardari made the remarks at a special Diwali dinner he hosted at the presidency for visiting Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his delegation on Wednesday night.
"We want the peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes for lasting peace in the region," Zardari said.
Expressing satisfaction at the ongoing dialogue with India, Zardari said there was a "general consensus" among the mainstream political parties of Pakistan to have good neighbourly relations with India.
Welcoming Kumar and his delegation, Zardari extended his greetings for Diwali and said such parliamentary exchanges between the two sides are highly encouraging and will contribute to the deepening of people-to-people contacts.
The two countries should explore the scope for cooperation in fields like education, health and community development, he said.
The two sides should also consider establishing friendship groups in their provincial assemblies similar to those existing in the national parliaments, as this would lead to create greater understanding between lawmakers, he added.
Zardari decided to host a special Diwali dinner for Kumar on learning that his meeting with the Indian leader coincided with the Hindu festival of lights, Indian officials said.
Kumar and his delegation were earlier scheduled to call on Zardari at the presidency in the evening and the meeting was to be followed by a formal dinner hosted by the Foreign Ministry.
The President`s decision reflected the importance being attached to Kumar`s visit by the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government.
Zardari has taken a personal interest in pushing for better ties with India, especially in trade and commerce, said Fawad Chaudhry, a special assistant to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.
Among those who attended the dinner were Acting Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay, Rajya Sabha member N K Singh, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister for National Harmony Paul Bhatti and senior Pakistani officials.
During his interaction with Kumar, Zardari also lauded the "rich cultural and civilisational heritage of Bihar" and said greater interaction between the people and greater cooperation and exchanges with the Bihar government in diverse areas would prove mutually beneficial.
Zardari appreciated the "Bihar model of development" due to its emphasis on social sector development, particularly in education, healthcare and community development.
He also referred to the Benazir Income Support Programme, Pakistan`s flagship poverty alleviation scheme named after his late wife, former premier Benazir Bhutto.
He said Pakistan would be happy to share its experience in eradicating poverty and unemployment with Indian authorities.
Kumar thanked the President for warmly welcoming him and his delegation and said the Indian people were keen to promote good friendly relations with Pakistanis.
The Bihar Chief Minister began a week-long visit to Pakistan on Friday. Over the weekend, Kumar has shared his experiences in improving governance in Bihar with functionaries of the southern province of Sindh.
Kumar toured the historic site of Mohenjodaro, visited an ancient Hindu temple and addressed a Hindu panchayat in Sindh. He has also spoken of the need for India and Pakistan to co-exist peacefully and work for good governance.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Haridwar: Hotel Radisson Blu sealed for polluting Ganga
- Delhi: Two killed in road accident in New Ashok Nagar
- Girl in Punjab's Pathankot quit studies for fear of eve-teasing
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Special: Furious over rising water crisis, people take to the streets
- Fiji: Floating island restaurant in middle of ocean
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- 'Unhappy' Celina Jaitley asks Sunny Leone to move out?
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday
- IPL 2015 Final: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings - Preview
- BJP's plan for one-year celebration: 200 big rallies, 5,000 public meetings
- CBSE Results 2015: 10th board exam results to be declared on May 27
- Heatwave leaves 153 dead in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
- IPL 8 Final: We need to be at our best against Mumbai, says Michael Hussey
- Jayalalithaa returns as Tamil Nadu CM: As it happened
- Heatwave kills 223 in AP, Telangana, Chandrababu Naidu announces compensation; Delhi records hottest day