Ties Need Not Be Hostage To Kashmir, Says Pak. Envoy

16 November 2014
The Hindu
J. S. Ifthekhar

New Delhi: The Kashmir imbroglio need not hold the India-Pakistan relations hostage, said Pakistan High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit. The issue should be resolved through dialogue in a 'just and fair' manner. 'Hope we are able to overcome the problem soon,' he remarked. Interacting with journalists at the Press Club here on Sunday, he said after cancellation of the Foreign Secretary-level talks, the effort was to 'break the ice.' India-Pakistan relations, he said, were very important and also very complex at the same time. Only a collective effort would yield results. 'As a diplomat, I am trying to strengthen the ties and I hope during my tenure in India things will move ahead,' Mr. Basit said. He hoped the India-Pakistan cricket series would be revived next year. The PCB chairman had visited India recently and there was an agreement with the BCCI to play 6 matches up to 2022. The High Commissioner did not give a direct reply on why Pakistan was not taking action against underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. 'Names are irrelevant,' he said and pointed out how the country was suffering from terrorism since the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. 'In the 9-11 incident, not a single Pakistani was involved. Yet the country suffered. A staggering 5,000 innocent lives were lost to suicide bombers and there was a loss of 1 billion dollars.' Now that a new government had taken over in Afghanistan, he hoped the situation would stabilise. 'If Afghanistan stabilises, Pakistan will stabilise and it will impact the entire region,' Mr. Basit said. Mr. Basit wanted Pakistan and India to come together to tackle terrorism, human trafficking, organised crime, and climate change.