Having come to express grief over the death of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Pakistan’s interim Minister of Law and Information, Syed Ali Zafar, on Friday, did not forget to mention Kashmir during a media interaction following his meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. However, the Indian government, while mentioning the meeting between Swaraj and Zafar underlined that Vajpayee had dreamt of “terror-free” sub-continent.
Zafar was in New Delhi to attend the last rites of Vajpayee. Speaking to media after his meeting with Swaraj, Zafar said that he hoped that India and Pakistan will be able to resolve all issues between them, including that of Jammu and Kashmir, through dialogue.
The Pakistan minister said that he was in India to express condolence on behalf of the Pakistani government and people and to stand along India in its hour of grief. “I have come here as a representative of people of Pakistan to share your grief. Vajpayee Sahab was a man of peace and gave visionary leadership to India. People who value peace are admired in Pakistan. We hope that as in grief we will share your happy moments too in the future. The issues which we have between our countries which include the issue of Jammu and Kashmir will be resolved through dialogue and peacefully,” Zafar said.
Tweeting about the meeting, spokesperson for Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar said: “Remembering a visionary who dreamed terror-free and prosperous subcontinent! Pakistan’s caretaker Minister of Law and Justice, Syed Ali Zafar expressed condolences to EAM @SushmaSwaraj on sad demise of former
Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.”
Meanwhile, Zafar recited a poem by Vajpayee “Jung na honey denge” (we will not allow war). “Before leaving, I would like to say something by Vajpayeeji, because I believe that words never die,” Zafar said and he went on to recite the poem: “Jung na honey denge; Bharat-Pakistan padosi saath saath rahna hoga; pyar kare ya vaar kare; dono ko hi sehna hoga; jo hum par gujri bachhon par na honey denge; jung na honey denge.” (We will not allow a war. Neighbours India and Pakistan have to live together. Whether it is love or betrayal, both have to be tolerated. We will not allow our children to go through what we had to, we will not allow war).