Pakistan pins no high hopes on Heart of Asia conference: Basit

December 2, 2016
Samaa Web Desk

Abdul Basit high commissioner in India
NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi Abdul Basit Friday said the ice between Pakistan and India may not be broken at the Heart of Asia conference when Foreign Adviser to PM Sartaj Aziz visits India this weekend.

Talking to an Indian daily newspaper here, he remarked Pakistan is willing to wait for India to agree to dialogue, but said concrete progress may not be possible during the upcoming event.

Commenting on Pakistan’s abiding desire for bilateral ties and regional peace, Abdul Basit observed, “The challenge is for the two sides on how to move forward. In Islamabad, we do have a strong desire to move forward. We have the patience to wait. If they don’t break the ice in Amritsar perhaps we will find another opportunity somewhere later.”

On this occasion, the high commissioner also voiced Islamabad’s willingness to reciprocate wish for peace in India, if there is any; however, the situation is quite uncertain.

He said, “We have expressed our desire, but we do not know if India is willing. We are kind of in a situation where we would like the ice to break but we would not like to take any step that will not be reciprocated.”

Responding a query regarding 2003 ceasefire, Abdul Basit highlighted 2003 ceasefire as an important Confidence Building Measure (CBM).

“We would not like to see it destroyed. That’s why, last week, our DGMO took the initiative to speak to his Indian counterpart,” he added.

Replying to a query regarding renewed flare-up at Line of Control (LoC), Pakistan’s high commissioner mentioned July 8th as the beginning point of ‘what is happening in Jammu and Kashmir have made things difficult’.

Proposing the way forward concerning LOC situation, he spelled out, “The first thing is the firing must end immediately, and then the next step has to be bilateral engagement.”

Responding to Indian demand for action against LeT and JeM, Abdul Basit said, “There is zero tolerance for terrorism in Pakistan. The organisations you mentioned are proscribed organisations. We have in the past taken actions against them. And if there is proof against them it should be shared with us not speculation and hearsay.”

Responding Indian objection to international campaign Pakistan launched to express support for Jammu and Kashmir, he said, “Pakistan will continue to extend moral and diplomatic support to the people of J&K. To expect Pakistan to look the other way would not be possible. And we are not alone. OIC has issued a statement on support of J&K. UN Human Rights Commissioner wants to send a fact finding mission there.” –SAMAA