Basit blames India over LoC firing

Updated - November 17, 2021 02:42 am IST

Published - July 18, 2014 03:36 pm IST - New Delhi:

Pakistan on Friday said Thursday’s ceasefire violation along the India-Pakistan international border was a result of “unprovoked firing” from the Indian side.

 Speaking to journalists here on Friday, Pakistan’s high commissioner to India Abdul Basit rubbished allegations of ceasefire violations by Pakistani Rangers.

 “That’s the narrative that exists in India unfortunately… according to our information, it was unprovoked fire from the Indian side…if you watch Pakistan TV you will get a different story… (similarly) Indian TV has a different story…that’s the gap we need to bridge…and it cannot happen unless we are objective,” he said.

 The High Commissioner said the government of Pakistan was committed to improving relations with India.

 “Why do you look at the Pakistani army as something working on its own and not working with the government? When I say the government wants normal relations (with India), that includes everyone…the foreign office…ministry of defence (as well as) the army…it’s the civilian leadership that calls the shots (in Pakistan),” he said.

 He said the foreign secretaries of the two countries were in touch with each other and hoped they would meet soon.

 Regarding progress on granting the Most Favoured Nation status to India, the high commissioner said the issue would be discussed during the meeting of commerce ministers from both countries on the sidelines of the SAFTA meet, later this month in Thimpu.

 “I can’t say when it will happen but we have decided to now move forward and there is no question of going back…we hope the meeting will be in the same spirit,” he said.

 About Hindu minorities facing persecution from hardliners in Pakistan’s Sindh province, Mr. Basit said Hindus were not an isolated case and all communities in the region had been facing trouble.

“This is not limited to Hindu minorities…this problem has been going on in Karachi (capital of the Sindh province) not just with a particular group but with almost everyone who lives there…but we have operations going on there and are confident things will improve,” he said.

Mr. Basit said while Pakistan would welcome a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it was too early to comment on it.

“At the very beginning of Mr. Modi’s tenure, the two leaders met each other…they didn’t wait for a year or so for that to happen…its rather encouraging from our perspective that they a 30 minute one on one meeting,' said Mr. Basit.

"…so they have managed to establish a personal rapport and that should help the two countries take things forward…the two leaders are very committed and they have reiterated that in their letters to each other,” he said.

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