ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit Saturday said the dialogue between Pakistan and India was the only way to move forward for resolution of long-standing issues as there was always a room for diplomacy.
In an interview with an Indian TV Channel WION (World is on news), the high commissioner said as serious issues were involved between the two countries, so how they could be resolved without talking to each other.
To a question as if Pakistan was making effort to have any dialogue with Indian prime minister in Astana next week, Basit said Pakistan believed in dialogue.
When asked if he was seeing any meeting around between the two leadership, he said, “Why not? In diplomacy, always leave the door ajar. It is never shut down firmly. I am always optimistic about this relationship. Frankly speaking, you cannot live in hostility indefinitely or forever.”
About Indian business tycoon Sajan Jandal’s visit to Pakistan, he said it was his purely private visit and not an official one.
About Indian spy Kalbhushan Jadhav, the high commissioner said he had been convicted for espionage and appeal was submitted to appellate court on his behalf. Whole of the process would be exhausted including the mercy petition.
He said Pakistan’s decision for not granting consular access to Jadhav was driven from bilateral consular agreement clearly stated that issues related to security would be decided on merit.
About the ICJ hearing, he said Pakistan faced no embarrassment as it was not a final ruling but a stay order that was generally expected in such cases. However, in such cases, there are not setbacks.
He said commander Jadhav had confessed all wrongdoings and Pakistan was confident that he had been involved in subversive activities the country was not obliged to share proofs with India.
To a question, the envoy said terrorism had also been a huge issue for Pakistan and the conviction of commander Jadhav clearly showed that terrorism in Pakistan had external dimension to it.
“When it comes to terrorism, Pakistan too has serious concerns. Whenever, we will have dialogue with India, we would raise our concerns,” he remarked.
About Mumbai and Pathankot incidents, he said in order to move forward in such cases, it was important to cooperate with each other
About Arab-led Islamic military alliance, he said Iran had excellent ties with Pakistan and ties with Gulf States. We are part of that military alliance that was against terrorism, not against any particular country. About the views expressed at Summit in Riyadh about isolating Iran, he said Pakistan was not subscribed to those views.
He said Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Gulf states were very important and the ties with Iran were equally important, so Pakistan would not like to take sides.
He said Pakistan’s effort would be to become a bridge between Saudi Arabia and Iran, if that is possible.
About allegations from Afghanistan on Kabul bombing, he said it was not anything new. Pakistan itself was victim of terror. Being a victim, Pakistan could never condone terrorism in any form or manifestation.- APP