Pak Invites Modi, Says Keep Kashmir On Talks Table

19 May 2014
Times of India

New Delhi: Stressing on the need for dialogue, Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit on Monday said India should not shy away from dealing with 'contentious' issues like Jammu and Kashmir which need to be resolved for the two countries to move on. Basit, however, said there can't be any preconditions for resumption of dialogue. As he reiterated PM Nawaz Sharif's invite to India's PM-elect Narendra Modi to visit Pakistan, Basit said the first four-five months of the new government will determine how bilateral ties are headed. 'It (J&K) is an important issue and government of India has to fulfil its commitment given to the world. It is part of the composite dialogue. We should not shy away from contentious issues. When we will deal with each of the issues, we will be able to move forward,' he said in an interaction with members of the Press Club of India. He said there is a national consensus in Pakistan on friendly ties and Islamabad is willing to engage with the new government in New Delhi. Asked to flag issues which are doable, the High Commissioner said all issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, trade and cultural issues, can be discussed and all issues are doable. 'We have been engaged in composite dialogue process. All can be discussed and everything is doable. Once the process is started, we will progress. One cannot expect progress in each area but there are many areas where we can move forward. There are areas where we can move fast while there are areas where more time will be needed,' he said.