Minister says Pakistan is extending the hand of peace while India is rejecting it
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Saturday said India showed negative approach by cancelling the scheduled meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan.
In an interview with a private television, he said Pakistan extended the hand for negotiations but India withdrew its hand which exposed face of India at the international level and highlighted the positive image of Pakistan.
The world was watching and the internal differences of India had come into the open, he said adding, “The world is saying that Pakistan is extending the hand of peace while India is rejecting it.”
“We will live in peace and we will say to those in India who favour peace that they should look at the role of their government and condemn its thinking.”
He said today Pakistan was standing on the right side of history and it was ready to open the border at Kartarpura.
The minister pointed out that on the matter of Kartarpura border, debate had started between Indian Punjab and New Delhi. “Opening of Kartarpura is in the interest of people of Indian Punjab. We are fully prepared and wanted that border should be opened to facilitate Sikhs crossing the border for their religious worship. “We have set a procedure in this regard and completed the arrangements.”
He said DGMOs of India and Pakistan remained in contact and India had been unofficially informed about the situation.
“Now India has to move forward and we want that when Sikhs come to Pakistan on the 450th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, they should be provided facilities through Kartarpura border.”
He said India had a complaint that the army and the civilian government of Pakistan had different policies but our government and army had the same thinking.
“We extended our hand for peace and it was the opportunity to take forward the peace talks.”
He said before taking oath, Prime Minister Imran Khan in his first speech said that if “they will take one step forward. We will move two steps forward”.
Fawad said, “We invited Kapil Dev, Navjot Sidhu and Gwaskar and Navjot Sidhu came to Pakistan and what is happening to him in India, it is before everybody.”
He said army chief announced to open Kartarpura border to facilitate the Yatrees, adding it was a big step for the Sikh community of Indian Punjab. “I also said in my interviews that we are ready to open this border.”
In this backdrop, Prime Minister Imran Khan had stressed that foreign minister of Pakistan and India should hold a meeting.
He told that Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi would meet with foreign ministers of different countries while attending the session of General Assembly of the United Nations.
After the visit of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, the Foreign Minister had left to attend the UN session.
Fawad reminded that India agreed that meeting would be held during the UN General Assembly session but it seemed the government of India was divided and non-serious and half of the people were in support of negotiations and half of the extremists did not want talks.
The minister said after the visit of United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Pakistan, US had changed its thinking.
After the visit of US Secretary of State, an important statement of US Department of Defence came, stating that the US considered Pakistan an important partner in Afghanistan and it could play an important role in finding solution in Afghanistan. It seemed that United States had changed its thinking but if India did not change its thinking then it was up to it, he continued.
He said there were two sections in India and Pakistan. One section in both the countries wanted normal relations but another section did not support it.
He was of the view that it was job of the leadership as to which sections it wanted to strengthen and which sections it would ignore.
He said, “We are fighting for the last seventy years. Millions of people sacrificed their lives for the dignity of Pakistani flag. For us, nothing is ahead of respect and honour of our country.”
“Millions of people in our region are living life below the poverty line. Now we have to see whether we want war or want to give them a better future.”
He said Parliament had the task to formulate policy and the Prime Minister had presented his vision on the foreign policy in the house, adding Parliament was working on the finance bill.
Prime Minister had given the policy to normalise conditions in the region, he added.
Elections were near in India and anti-Pakistan slogans sell in India, he remarked.
The minister said Imran Khan talked to Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia and other countries at state level while Nawaz Sharif had connection with billionaires like Jindal. “When you hold your personal interest above the national interest then it creates problems.”
He said thinking of Pakistan army was based on peace and amity. Fawad said CPEC was a project of communication and setting up of special economic zones. Industries would be set up and millions of people would get jobs.
He said CPEC would make Gwadar and Karachi the hub of economic activities, adding the connectivity of these two ports would decrease dependency on other ports.
The minister said, “We want that the benefits of CPEC should reach the public. Saudi Arabia is also ready to invest in CPEC. We welcome the Saudi investment in Pakistan.”
He asserted that most of the people were not aware of the relations between Nawaz Sharif and the leadership of Saudi Arabia and UAE.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia share close strategic and economic interests, he added.
He said on one occasion, Shah Abdullah interfered in the matter of Nawaz Sharif but Imran Khan was not the man who would do deals. “No one will even ask Imran Khan to do a deal. Nawaz Sharif is not that important that he will talk about him.”