Govt, army on same page to engage India: Info minister



Islamabad, Sept. 7 (TNS): Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that PTI-led government and the military establishment are on the same page to engage India through dialogues, Brish media reported.

Pakistan is hopeful of dialogue with India but the country’s eastern neighbour has yet to reciprocate with positive signals, said Chaudhry in an interview with BBC Urdu.

Chaudhry added that the government has given multiple positive signs to restart dialogue between the two nuclear-armed neighbours and the armed forces also support the initiative.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa both understand that a country can never prosper alone, as regions prosper together and they both are of the opinion that if the region doesn’t prosper, then everyone will be left behind.”

In the interview, the information minister added that the country will open the Kartarpur border crossing for to facilitate Sikh devotees in their travel to Guru Nanak’s shrine without a visa and partake in religious ceremonies.

Chaudhry further said the government has formulated a mechanism for the opening of the border and the travel of Sikh devotees. The mechanism will soon be implemented, he confirmed.

“Imran invited Indian players as soon as he became the prime minister. In his first speech, he stated that if Delhi took one step towards us, we’ll take two in their direction. He also talked to his Indian counterpart,” Chaudhry elaborated in his interview.

“The problem for India is the way Narendra Modi conducted his anti-Pakistan election campaign, the Bharatiya Janata Party are stuck with the mindset and now, if they promote friendly relations with Pakistan, their voter base might be affected.”

When asked how the incumbent government’s policy for India is different from previous governments, the minister said all state institutions are on the same page and have are united on the country’s approach towards foreign policy.

“In the past, the United States and the west complained that Pakistan’s political and military leadership have different narratives. This is no longer the case. We are with the institutions, and they are with us.”