Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday sent greetings to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on Pakistan's National Day via a letter. Sharif had sent a similar greeting to Prime Minister Modi in January this year on the occasion of India's Republic Day.
To mark the occasion, a programme was organised at the Pakistan Embassy in New Delhi where High Commissioner Abdul Basit received guests for the last time as the envoy as his term ends shortly. Union Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar represented the Indian government at the celebration.
Basit expressed Islamabad’s desire to have good relations with India as well as to address the Kashmir issue.
“Pakistan has always tried to maintain good relations with its neighbours. We also want good relations with India,” he said. “As far as the Jammu and Kashmir issue is concerned, it should be resolved as per the aspirations of Kashmiris and hopefully it will be. We hope that we will resolve the issue but as per the aspirations of Kashmiris (unki umangon ke mutabik ho)," he said.
Addressing the gathering at a decked-up lush lawn, Basit asserted Pakistan was “surging ahead” on the path of growth and peace.
“We may not be the richest country in the world but according to a recent report, we are the happiest one in the region. And that itself is a testimony to the resilience of our people,” he said.
“We also wish peace and progress for other countries as for ourself and hope that whatever bottlenecks we have in taking our collective growth forward, would be eliminated in future,” Basit said.
Pakistan Day marks the historic event of 1940 when the Lahore Resolution was passed, demanding a separate homeland for Muslims of the subcontinent.