‘Turning a new page’ Nawaz to Modi: Let’s turn similarities into strengths

Premier talks of new beginnings and investment opportunities.

Agencies May 26, 2014
We should remove fears, mistrust and misgivings about each other, said PM Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI:


Soon after his arrival in New Delhi, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ascension to power represented ‘a great opportunity’ for the neighbours to forge a new era in their troubled relationship.


“This could help in turning a new page in our relations [...] This is a chance to reach out to each other. Both governments have a strong mandate,” he told NDTV in an interview shortly before the inauguration, according to a transcript provided by the Pakistan High Commission.

“Both countries should rid the region of instability and insecurity that has plagued us for decades. We should remove fears, mistrust and misgivings about each other.”

Premier Nawaz, who is to hold bilateral talks with Modi today (Tuesday), said that the neighbours should use their common heritage to help overcome their differences. “No two nations have ever possessed so much of cultural and traditional similarities as India and Pakistan. Why not turn the similarities into our strengths?”



He promised to pick up the threads of a failed peace process which went on during his second term in office -- which coincided with the last BJP government in India. In 1999, the then Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee rode a bus to Lahore to sign an accord with Nawaz, but three months later the two countries nearly went to war over Kargil.

Separately, in an interview with Hindustan Times, Premier Nawaz said he would be happy to have Indians invest in Pakistan and offered them high returns on their investment. “If Indians come [to invest], they will find Pakistani markets very attractive, with returns as high as 30%.”

The online edition of the Indian newspaper mentioned that Indian companies such as the Adani Group had proposed producing electricity to be sold to Pakistan, but such proposals had not taken off. According to the report, “Sharif once again reminded Indian businesses of such opportunities”.

The prime minister was quoted as saying, “I am regarded as a friend of businessmen and we are regarded as a business-friendly government. Modi, too, is perceived as a business-friendly person. He has a model of development.”


Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2014.

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COMMENTS (16)

anwar kamal | 6 years ago | Reply | Recommend

ISI is the main obstacle for Pakistan to normalize the relation with India.

The Chauhan | 6 years ago | Reply | Recommend

@Bakhtiyar Ghazi Khan: You in your articles talk a lot about Hindu extremists exploiting Indian muslims. out of the Principle of Ummah but..have you as peace loving God-abiding secular progressive ever talk about your own Hindus & other non-muslims , their fears etc , how over the decades they have fared or is it that since they are Kafirs they are not worth it or that these Kafirs have prospered as much as you the chosen people have

Interestingly I see Indian newspapers focus only on their Indian minorities over anyone else's & Pakistani newspapers on the other hand focus not on Pakistani minorities but Indian ones..

Why such Communal mentality exists amongst Pakistani middleclass who think they are "THEKEDAARS OF Secularism in India"

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