Pleasant Atmosphere Needed to Start Peace Talks: Mr. Gautam Bambawale

Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Mr. Gautam Bambawale said India is ready to resume bilateral dialogue with Pakistan on all the issues if environment for talks is pleasant. He expressed these views during an Iftar Dinner hosted by Indian High Commission at a local hotel in Islamabad. The Iftar-Dinner was attended by a large number of people from different walks of life and the guests expressed desire for peaceful ties between the two countries.

Pakistani and Indian diplomats trying to interact and convince the respective circles of two nuclear armed states to restore halted relations through Iftar Diplomcy in New Delhi and Islamabad.

First Pakistani High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit hosted an Iftar Dinner to honor Indian influenced circles including Indian Controlled Kashmiri leaders All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) in New Delhi on 25th June. Followed by Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Mr Gautam Bambawale organized the same at Pakistan capital Islamabad to create a peaceful atmosphere to resume halted talks between India and Pakitan. Al large number of political party’s representatives, Median men and civil society correspondents attended the Iftar Party.

 

Pakistani High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit hosted the Iftar Party on same day when Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants attacked Indian CRPF convoy in pampore in which eight soldiers were killed and 22 others wounded. On Wednesday Abdul Basit desired to resume talks during an Iftar Dinner hosted by JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav in Delhi.

There is no hostile environment, for God’s sake. We are two neighbors. We have to talk and we will talk,” the Pakistan envoy said while responding to questions over CRPF attacks in Indian Kashmir which was claimed by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit.

Talking to newsmen here at a local hotel at Iftar Dinner, Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Mr Gautam Bambawale said a peaceful atmosphere was created after the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narindra Modi to Lahore on December 25 last year where he met with the Pakistani leadership. But soon the “right atmosphere created by the visit was destroyed” due to the Pathankot Attack.

 

Mr Gautam Bambawale added that comprehensive bilateral dialogue was scheduled to be held on January 15 but attack on Pathankot Airbase on January 2 this year changed the scenario completely.

Replying to a question, he fully endorsed that there should be competition between the two countries not only in cricket but hockey too as both the countries have great achievements in these two games at world level. He added that such activities will bring the people of India and Pakistan more close to each other. Responding to a question, Mr Bambawale said India is ready to discuss all outstanding issues including Sir Creek once the talks started.

On January 2, 2016, an armed group attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the India’s Western Air Command, killing six Indian security personnel. New Delhi had blamed Pakistan-based Militant Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) for attack. Pakistan registered an FIR and arrested five members of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) including its JeM chief  Masood Azhar for questioning.

 

Latter a five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) comprising officials from police and Intelligence agencies from Pakistan had visited India between March 27 and 31 to collect evidence regarding the Pathankot attack.

Now India requested Pakistan to allow its investigators to visit the country to question alleged masterminds of the attack including Jaish-e- Muhammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Roof Asghar.

The Pakistan government has replied that it will decide after Eid-ul-Fitr whether or not to allow Indian investigators to visit the country in connection with their probe into Pathankot airbase attack.

The Writer is Editor Daily Online News Paper “The Fortress” He can be reached at arifqoreshi@gmail.com

 

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