'PM Modi welcome to visit Pakistan any time'

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jul 19, 2014 01:30 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be welcomed whenever he chooses to visit Pakistan, said the country’s envoy, hinting at progress on the proposed meeting between the foreign secretaries of two countries.

Speaking to journalists at the press club of India on Friday, Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit pushed for improving ties between the two countries. Commenting on the row over journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik’s meeting with Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed, Basit said that the governments were unaware of the meeting.

“It was a meeting between two private individuals and nothing more,” he said, adding that the Pakistan government needs hard evidence to put Saeed in jail. “We do not have any evidence against him...We cannot put him in jail just to please anyone.” On being asked if Vaidik would be given a Pakistani visa again, Basit evaded a direct reply and said Vaidik often visited the country.

Asked about “delay” in trial of 26/11 attack accused, Basit said Pakistan was committed to bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Holding that genesis of all issues stemmed from dispute over Jammu and Kashmir, Basit said that “engagement without interruption” was required between the two countries to combat various challenges including menace of terrorism.

Basit also spoke of a proposal for roaming facility on the SIMs of mobile phones of citizens while in each other’s country.

To a question on ceasefire violations, the envoy said there was a different story being told on each side about who was responsible, and underlined that both countries need to “shed stereotypes and move on”.

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