Nawaz Sharif welcomes Zardari's visit to India
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
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.