Terming as "baseless" the narrative in the Indian media about incursions and infiltrations from Pakistan on the Line of Control, Pakistan's High Commissioner to India, Salman Bashir has called for a "broad range engagement" between the two countries to improve bilateral ties.
Addressing media persons during his visit to the City here, he said that whipping up frenzy and creating hysteria does no good to anybody. But rather than commenting on this "very negative narrative we have been saying that let the two competent authorities, the military authorities deal with the situation". He said that such negative reports poison the atmosphere and prove to be a "very big dis-service to friendship and peace". There was no need for finger-pointing and everything needed to be viewed objectively, he added.
Except through dialogue, there was no other way for the two countries to address each other's concerns and resolve problems. While lot of things on both sides could be said, there was also a lot of misperception "here and there". Concerns on both sides could be resolved through dialogue and Pakistan was prepared to discuss various issues, including the difficult ones.
Pakistan was committed to upholding principles of United Nations. He said that Pakistan was at the cross-road of Central Asia and South Asia and was bound to get affected if there was turbulence elsewhere in the region. There was trouble in Afghanistan for the past three to four decades. He said that militancy and terrorism had affected Pakistan directly and there have been 110 attacks in the past 100 days in his country. There was also a need to talk about the source of funding of these fidayeen, militants and and terrorists being used as a fodder. Who were the masters behind this anarchy chaos. Pakistan had shared evidence with the rest of the world and the government of India too in the regard. Terrorism was a global issue and respects no borders or religion.
Asked about President Pranab Mukherjee's recent comment that non-state actors did not come from heaven and were from territory under its control, Mr. Bashir while declining to say anything directly on his remarks, sought to know who were the thousands of people involved in heinous crimes of terror in his country. He said Pakistan's army, navy and ISI were being targeted.
Asked about occurrence of incidents whenever leaders from both sides meet, he said "there are quarters which are inimical to good ties" and terminating or pausing talks would be playing into those elements "wherever they are. Who wins, only people of these countries lose", he added. On Jamaat-ud Dawa, he said it was involved in charity in Pakistan and the views of one individual could not be taken as if he was talking on behalf of entire country.
The High Commissioner said that he was in favour of promoting people-to-people contacts and simplify visa procedures. Both the countries would benefit by improving trade and economic ties. He said that both India and Pakistan want prosperity and there was a political determination on both sides for a peaceful and prosperous South Asia. Mr. Bashir also promised to take up with his government the plea for opening a visa facilitation office in Hyderabad.
Syed Vicaruddin, Publisher and Chief Editor, Rahnuma-E-Deccan daily and Chairman, Indo-Arab league, wanted a direct flight to be introduced from Hyderabad to Karachi and opening of a visa facilitation office by Pakistan High commission.