BJP guest from across the border

Islamabad: Even as the nation is seething with anger over the Pulawama massacre, the government seems to be blowing hot and cold over its Pakistan policy. At least, it is still bending backwards to greet guests from across the border. A Pakistani lawmaker from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party met top Indian leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, in an attempt by Islamabad to renew backdoor contacts and defuse tensions between the two sides.

The lawmaker in question is the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, who is from the Sindhi community and holds a minority seat; he is in India as part of a 220-member delegation from 185 countries who attended the Kumbh Mela on an invite of the Indian government.

But, as part of his backdoor parleys, he also met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj an”I have communicated a positive note to the Indian leaders and I hope there will now be a change in their behaviour,” Vankwani said on Saturday, while talking to the Pakistan-based Express Tribune over telephone.

Vankwani said he met Modi on the sidelines of an event and the Indian Prime Minister met him warmly, the paper reported. He said he told Modi that he had come with a positive message and wanted to return with a positive message. He said later, on Modi’s directive, Swaraj also held a 25- minute-long meeting with him, the paper said. According to the PTI leader, he told Swaraj that the two countries need to take lessons from past and not to hold on to it.

‘‘I told them that we need to get out of this politics of accusations,” he was quoted as saying by the paper. According to Vankwani, after the meeting, he “felts that the atmosphere was beginning to thaw.”

He said he had come to India on invitation from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for participation in Kumbh Mela.”I have communicated a positive note to the Indian leaders and I hope there will now be a change in their behaviour,” Vankwani said on Saturday, while talking to the Pakistan-based Express Tribune over telephone.

Vankwani said he met Modi on the sidelines of an event and the Indian Prime Minister met him warmly, the paper reported. He said he told Modi that he had come with a positive message and wanted to return with a positive message. He said later, on Modi’s directive, Swaraj also held a 25- minute-long meeting with him, the paper said.

According to the PTI leader, he told Swaraj that the two countries need to take lessons from past and not to hold on to it. ‘‘I told them that we need to get out of this politics of accusations,” he was quoted as saying by the paper. According to Vankwani, after the meeting, he “felts that the atmosphere was beginning to thaw.”

He said he had come to India on invitation from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for participation in Kumbh Mela.d Minster of State for External Affairs General VK Singh, who has also served as the chief of the Indian Army.

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