Prime ministers Nawaz, Modi 'struck a chord', says Pakistan's envoy to India

Abdul Basit says Indian PM Modi would be welcomed in Pakistan whenever he wishes to visit.

Web Desk July 18, 2014

NEW DELHI: Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said on Friday that Pakistan would welcome newly-elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who, he added, "struck a chord" with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, NDTV reported.

"Modi will be welcomed whenever he comes to Pakistan. We hope the high-level visit will take place," Basit said, while addressing members of the media at the press club in Delhi

Basit said that Prime Minister Nawaz had a good interaction with Modi in May at his inauguration in India.

The high commissioner said Pakistan was in touch with India for a meeting between their foreign secretaries. "We are in touch with each other and things are moving forward."

Saeed-Vaidik meeting

Meanwhile, Basit assured that the governments of both countries did not have any prior knowledge of the meeting between Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Saeed and Indian journalist, terming it "a private affair", according to The Hindu.

Basit maintained, “This was a meeting between two private citizens … it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment … our government was not aware and nor was the government of India,” he said.

Reports that Indian journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik met the JuD leader in Lahore on July 2 sparked controversy in India and caused uproar in the Lok Sabha.

“He was part of a 14 member delegation headed by Mani Shankar Aiyyar that went to attend a conference arranged by the Regional Peace Institute … he was given visa for that … he stayed back … along with a couple of others,” the high commissioner said.

Basit also maintained that Pakistan did not have any evidence against Saeed, who is wanted in India for allegedly masterminding the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.

He added that although Saeed had been detained by the Pakistani government, no evidence was found against him.

Clarifying that no citizen can be put behind bars without any evidence, Basit urged those with hard evidence to come forth.

“We had detained him but we didn’t have any evidence on the basis of which we could try him … even if today someone has hard evidence…it should be shared," he said, adding that "we cannot put our citizens in jail only to please the world. We have a judicial process; so kindly try to look at things objectively,” said Basit.

Basit, however, refused to comment on the alleged judicial delays in the ongoing 26/11 trials in Pakistan saying that Pakistan is committed to bring justice in this case but proceedings take time. He pointed out that he would not mention the Samjhuta trials in India either.