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Pakistan envoy touched by Bengaluru hospitality

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Bengaluru: Salubrious climate, cool breeze, warm hospitality and friendly nature of Bengaluru’s peoplle touched Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit, who is on a four-day visit to Karnataka.

“My wife (Sumaiyah) and me are touched and humbled by the impeccable hospitality extended by the people of Bengaluru. I have great memories of this city. I am thankful to the chief minister (Siddaramaiah) for the excellent arrangements made for our visit,” Basit told reporters here on Friday.

Basit, 57, the first Pakistan envoy to visit Karnataka, has invited Siddaramaiah to visit his country and gave proposals to the chief minister on promoting cultural and economic ties between the state and his country.

“The chief minister has been gracious to accept our invitation to visit Pakistan and discussed various issues of interest to people in both countries,” Basit said at a ‘Meet the Press’ event hosted by Bangalore Press Club in the green environs of the famous Cubbon Park.

The envoy also called on Governor Vajubhai R. Vala at Raj Bhavan on Friday and discussed bilateral ties between the two countries and on promoting people-to-people contacts.

Interacting with about 50 citizens at a meeting think-tank Bengaluru International Centre and Takshashila Institution on Wednesday, Basit lamented that Pakistan was a much misunderstood nation for various reasons and was grappling with many challenges, including poverty, illiteracy and healthcare.

He also interacted with teenage students of Mount Carmel College and addressed a select gathering at Urdu Academy in the city on Thursday.

Admitting that Kashmir remained the core dispute between the two countries since 1947, Basit told IANS that other issues like Siachen, Sir Creek and terrorism have got entangled in the uneasy relations over the decades.

“If we think these issues can be overlooked or brushed aside, we will be deceiving ourselves and further delay resolving them, as they are critical for peaceful co-existence and mutual respect,” he Basit added.

IANS