No pre-condition for talks: Pak envoy

No pre-condition for talks: Pak envoy

No pre-condition for talks: Pak envoy

Setting the terms for revival of the composite dialogue process with the Modi government, Pakistan today made it clear that India should not shy away from dealing with "contentious" issues like Jammu and Kashmir and not lay down any pre-conditions for talks.

"Now the two democratic countries have to decide whether we will bury the hatchet or will continue to be at daggers drawn indefinitely. The two countries and the people cannot afford to move in wrong direction and to be on the wrong side of the history," Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said here.

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman said by making such remarks, Pakistan itself was putting conditions. She also raised questions on the slow pace of trial in Pakistan in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Basit said Pakistan was looking forward to a visit by Narendra Modi as Indian Prime Minister and hoped that the two countries would resolve "differences and disputes" through an early dialogue.

"We are ready to host Narendra Modi when he decides to visit Pakistan. Our Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has already extended an invitation to him,"  he said in an interaction with members of Press Club of India.

He said first four-five months of the new government in India will be important and will determine how the bilateral ties will go forward.

"The next 4-5 months are important... how things move forward. But there cannot be pre-condition for any talks," he said. Basit said Jammu and Kashmir 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.

Basit said there was a national consensus in Pakistan to have normal friendly relations with India and Islamabad was willing to engage with the new government in New Delhi.Basit said the government in Pakistan strongly realises that for pursuing the national and regional potential, peace is essential.

Asked whether there is possibility of 'third party intervention' to resolve bilateral issues, Basit said countries like the US always encourage India and Pakistan to have dialogue but "at the end of the day, the two countries have to sit together and discuss".

Asked to flag issues which are doable, the High Commissioner said all issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, trade and cultural issue, can be discussed and all issues are doable.