ISLAMABAD: Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal insisted on Monday that despite recent clashes on the Line of Control (LoC), the process of dialogue between India and Pakistan has not been affected.
“Peace between India and Pakistan is in favour of both the countries,” he said, while addressing the media on the occasion of India’s Republic Day.
Sabharwal said India wants good relations with Pakistan and vowed that a peaceful, democratic and stable Pakistan was in the interest of his country.
The high commissioner said that the ceasefire on the LoC was a good and welcoming step, and added that things were now heading towards settlement.
Referring to Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid’s statements, Sabharwal said that the peace process between Islamabad and New Delhi had not been derailed and no irreversible damage had been made to the process.
Sabharwal further clarified that reports on the Indian government sending the Pakistan hockey players back were a “misconception”, insisting that it was the sole decision of the event’s organisers.
Replying to a question, he said all investigation and information regarding the ceasefire violation was shared between the two countries at various levels.
Speaking at the occasion, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that while “ups and downs” in the countries’ ties were common, he was optimistic that the dialogue process would continue.
The minister noted that despite recent clashes, Pakistan did not suspend its visa service for senior citizens.
Malik congratulated India on its independence day and went on to advise the Indian government to provide security to Bollywood super star Shahrukh Khan.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2013.