ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has stated that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is in the “driving seat” in handling relations with India.
“We are very happy that our army is one of the best in the world. At the same time, our democracy has taken deep roots during the last eight to nine years. And I have no doubt that our prime minister, who is an elected prime minister, is in the driving seat when it comes to policy matters. It is the civilian side, which calls the shots,” he said in an interview with Press Trust of India (PTI), the Indian news agency.
“In all democratic countries including India, you do take inputs from all the stakeholders and that is what we also do in Pakistan. There is nothing out of the ordinary in that. Our relations with India are very important part of our foreign policy, so, if there are inputs from our security agencies, there is nothing extraordinary,” High Commissioner Abdul Basit said in the interview carried by the Business Standard on Tuesday.
Abdul Basit categorically said that the two countries could not “escape” from bilateral engagement. They could not live in “perpetual hostility”, he asserted.
The high commissioner also noted that the pattern in Indo-Pak ties was “one step forward and two steps backward”.
Therefore, it was important that the two countries should be engaged in “irreversible” and build on the past progress and not squander them, he added.
“It is unnatural not to talk or not have normal relations. It is absolutely incumbent on both sides to keep the door ajar (for talks)…We cannot live in perpetual hostility,” Basit said.
He also said he was convinced that sooner or later, the two countries would come to the negotiating table. NNI