We missed two opportunities to invite Manmohan Singh: former Pakistan foreign minister

February 18th, 2009 - 3:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) Expressing regret that Pakistan missed two opportunities to invite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, fomer foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri said under no circumstances should the peace process between the two countries get derailed.
“This is the first time that I have come to India after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and I want to convey my heartfelt condolences to the Indian government and the people here. However, I want to stress that under no circumstance the peace process between the two countries ever be stopped,” Kasuri said at a panel discussion in the capital late Tuesday.

Kasuri was specially invited by Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar for the launch of his book at his residence at 14, Akbar Road.

“There are trouble makers on both the sides of the border but we should not give in to these forces,” he added.

Expressing his regret at two “failed opportunities” to invite Manmohan Singh to Pakistan when he was still the foreign minister in the administration of President Pervez Musharraf, Kasuri said that he “wished that he had come that time”.

“The first time that we thought of inviting him (Manmohan Singh) somewhere late 2006 and early 2007, the state elections were on here, including Uttar Pradesh’s, and therefore we were advised that he couldn’t have made it then.

“The next time we thought of inviting him again was when the Chief Justice of Pakistan was removed March 9,2007 and we couldn’t possibly pursue it. But now I wish we had just pursued it and he had come at that time,” Kasuri said.

Coming back to India-Pakistan relations, he said: “Although I am in the opposition now, I am saying this with confidence that all political parties in Pakistan want peace with India”.

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