Sharif hails Modi’s gesture, says the two countries cannot live as enemies
Islamabad : Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has described his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s last week’s visit to Lahore as a good will gesture and called for the two countries to set aside their hostilities.’The Indian Prime Minister came to Lahore and spent a few hours with us. It was high time that two countries put aside their hostilities,’ he said during an event in Pakistan. Sharif reciprocated the courtesy extended by his Indian counterpart and invited India to hold dialogue with Pakistan on all issues, saying the two countries cannot live as enemies. In his exact words — Pakistan and India will have to resolve all issues amicably and in a comprehensive way.
Sharif added that National Security Adviser Nasser Janjua had held meetings with Indian officials to discuss issues and conflicts between the two countries. Also, he clarified, during Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad it had been decided that the two countries would restart dialogue on all issues. ‘Pakistan and India will have to create a friendly environment to resolve their issues,’ he said, and added that dialogue and talks had always worked towards resolving all disputes and conflicts anywhere in the world, and so would it do, even for these two neighboring countries.
Sharif was speaking at his address during a foundation stone-laying ceremony for the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in Zhob on Wednesday. Zhob is a small town and district capital of Zhob District in Balochistan province of Pakistan. Zhob is located on the banks of Zhob River. The project of CPEC route would cover Zhob-Mughal Kot (N-50) and Qila Saifullah-Wagum (N-70).
Pakistan has put many ambitious infrastructure link plans on its working table, out of which, the CPEC forms a special mention. Pakistan is also working to build a railway track to connect itself with Europe via Afghanistan and Central Asia so that goods trains from Pakistan could go to that continent. Sharif said he, along with the presidents of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan and the vice president of India, had laid the foundation stone of the Tapi gas project — a project, by which, the pipeline would help meet the natural gas requirement of the countries involved. The project would be completed in four years and help end gas load shedding in the country, he added.
Sharif spoke on Balochistan, with particular reference to its natural resources, and said it was rich in natural wealth, and its people had the first right on these. He said he wanted promotion of education, provision of health facilities and development of agricultural and industrial sectors in the province. He offered the peasants of Balochistan federal government’s loans for installing solar-powered tube wells to irrigate their fields. He said the CPEC would bring prosperity to Balochistan and open doors of development and job opportunities. He said — CPEC will end backwardness and poverty in Pakistan by bringing progress and prosperity to our people.
Sharif described his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s last week’s visit to Lahore as a good will gesture and called for the two countries to set aside their hostilities. He added that goodwill gesture could provide solution to many problems. This was Sharif’s first public reaction to the sudden visit made by PM Modi on Christmas Day, which coincided with Birthday of three political figures, namely — Jinnah, Nawaz Sharif and Former PM of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee. PM Modi also graced the occasion of Sharif’s grand daughter’s wedding and gave his blessings to the bride. PM Modi also met Sharif’s immediate and extended family and took blessings from Sharif’s mother, by touching her feet, Indian style.