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Opening of Kartarpura is in the interest of people of Indian Punjab: Fawad Chaudhry

23 September, 2018

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Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry Saturday said India showed negative approach by cancelling the scheduled meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan.

In an interview with a private television, he said Pakistan extended the hand for negotiations but India withdrew which exposed the ‘true face’ of India at the international level and highlighted the positive image of Pakistan. The world was watching and the internal differences of India have come into the open, he said, adding, “The world is saying that Pakistan is extending the hand of peace while India is rejecting it. We will live in peace and we will say to those in India who favour peace that they should look at the role of their government and condemn its thinking.”

Fawad said Pakistan was standing on the right side of history and it was ready to open the border at Kartarpura. He pointed out that on the matter of Kartarpura border, debate had started between Indian Punjab and New Delhi. “Opening of Kartarpura is in the interest of people of Indian Punjab. We are fully prepared and wanted that border should be opened to facilitate Sikhs crossing the border for their religious worship. “We have set a procedure in this regard and completed the arrangements.”

He said DGMOs of India and Pakistan remained in contact and India had been unofficially informed about the matter. “Now India has to move forward and we want that when Sikhs come to Pakistan on the 450th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, they should be provided facilities through Kartarpura border.”

He said before taking oath, Prime Minister Imran Khan in his first speech said that if “they will take one step forward. We will move two steps forward”. In this backdrop, Prime Minister Imran Khan had stressed that foreign ministers of Pakistan and India should hold a meeting.

The minister said after the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Pakistan, Washington had changed its thinking. “We are fighting for the last 70 years. Millions of people sacrificed their lives for the dignity of Pakistani flag. For us, nothing is ahead of respect and honour of our country.”

Fawad said Imran Khan talked to Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia and other countries at state level while Nawaz Sharif had connection with billionaires like Jindal. “When you hold your personal interest above the national interest, it creates problems.”

The minister said CPEC was a project of communication and setting up of special economic zones. Industries would be set up and millions of people would get jobs under the initiative. “We want that the benefits of CPEC reach the public. Saudi Arabia is also ready to invest in CPEC. We welcome the Saudi investment in Pakistan.”

He said on one occasion, Shah Abdullah of Saudi Arabia interfered in the matter of Nawaz Sharif but Imran Khan was not the man who would do deals. “No one will even ask Imran Khan to do a deal. Nawaz Sharif is not that important that he will talk about him.”

He said Avenfield apartment case was a case of two plus two. “You have to tell whether you had money or not. Your accounts are showing that there was no money. If there was no money how you bought those apartments?” He said he did not understand the reason for suspension of sentence of Nawaz Sharif. “In our country, a thief of cycle gets the punishment but one who steals a plane is saved. Our law is like a web of spider in which a small bee gets stuck while bigger bees break the web and get out of it.”

Fawad said a procedure was set with Britain to bring the accused back. “Ishaq Dar will be brought back to the country and his red warrants have been issued. Dar, Hassan and Hussain Nawaz will soon be in the grip of law. Britain recently took action against a Pakistani and soon progress would be made on the recent declaration between Pakistan and Britain. We are also signing an agreement with Switzerland and after that we will have access to the Swiss banks,” he said.

Fawad said the prime minister had said that the matter of Afghans and Bengalis living in Pakistan should be seen in the context of humanity. “The children are born here and it is their third generation. We have kept them limited to their camps. They do not have schools and employment and they have no role in the economy and society of Pakistan. They should be made part of the system.

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