Complete text of speech made by former prime minister and President PML-N Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at a function organised by the SAFMA. This turned out to be controversial for more than one reason. Later, he tried to clarify it as well.
"I had requested Imtiaz Sahab to let me speak in the beginning instead at the last. It is kind of Imtiaz Sahab that he had invited me here. You are seated here. I am pleased to see guests from Hindustan. Prior to me many beautiful talks had been delivered. First Imtiaz Sahab, and then Dr Sahab has said many good things. I think that such a condition should exist between two countries. This environment will get further better. Then certainly we will resolve our issues, will increase our cooperation as well, will progress too, moreover prosperity will be actualised, our issues will be resolved also. Both countries will resolve their respective issues besides settling matters of mutual concern too. And Imtiaz Alam Sahab’s dream ‘Let us join hands to write a new story’ will be materialised as well. And then Building Bridges in the Sub-Continent. Usually for politicians Building Bridges are not on rivers. I understand that this is not a good beginning. Imtiaz Sahab is working for long. SAFMA’s others members are involved in this struggle for long. For peace and brotherhood in this region, and especially in your ‘writing a new story’ I was ready to pen another new account. I was not aware that Musharraf was writing another narrative, which was in dire contradiction to the existent tale. It was so painful and sad that for the first time in the history of Pakistan and Hindustan that two prime ministers, as per your assertion, had come very close to each other and they had developed very good understanding. Hindustan n PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee came to Pakistan. I respect him a lot, and pray for his good health. I think he was a brave man, and he himself expressed his desire that why we should not resolve Pakistan’s issues, find solution to problems, make a move to progress, and listen to each other’s troubles, understand, and make earnest efforts to resolve them. I liked his talk to the core of my heart. A day came when he arrived here. When he came, I think it was a historic day in the history of Pakistan and Hindustan. Upon
Our religion teaches us to keep the relations healthy with our neighbours as they have the foremost rights over us. We must know whether or not they have slept hungry, if so, the responsibility lies on you, and if you could do some thing, why did you not do it. It is applied to the neighbours as well, but also applies to the bordering countries, and the same principle applies to the countries as well.
We hadthe same culture and heritage, and belonged to the same society. When you spoke in Punjabi, I wanted to do the same. There are many people in Pakistan who are known after the names of cities situated in India like Hafeez Jalandhri, Muhammad Ali Amritsari and many of them are called Ludhianvi. My parents migrated from Amritsar, but I was born in Pakistan. We are from the same place. Many a large number of people migrated from Pakistan to India who are known as Lahoris, Gujratis, Sialkotis, Lyallpuris and Kasuris. There is also a Lahore Sweet Mart. What is all this? There is one border between us.
We are members of the same society and share the same background, culture and even the dishes and vegetables. Like you, we also eat ‘aaloo gosht’ and it has been wrongly attributed to me that I eat ‘siri payee’ only which I never do. When all these things common between us, then we must conduct trade with each other and develop our infrastructure besides resolving the long standing issues including water and Kashmir dispute.
We should come out of the old mind-set that we had got entangled ourselves into by some of the people who also lived in our society. We should take the initiative to hammer out the differences in joints sittings, he said, for which he found the Indian leadership more willing than him in resolving issues between the two countries. I was reluctant to take this initiative fearing the people may misinterpret him, he further added.
I was glad to know that Atal Bihari Vajpayee wanted to improve relationship with Pakistan, but the Indian prime minister complained that on one side the Lahore Declaration was being signed but on the other he was stabbed in the back through Kargil misadventure. I agreed to him as he (Vajpayee) was justified in expressing such concerns. This adventure caused a severe damage to the country but whom should I complain to and who is responsible for it?
Before this we had launched atomic explosions. I was grateful to India for playing a major role in making Pakistan an atomic state. It was better that both the countries did not reach this stage, but after it did happen, it was noticeable how the two prime minister sat together for bringing peace to the region.
New ways of negotiations always remained open and they had come closer to each other, but who did create distance between them was another story.
I appreciate the Indian government for probing the Kargil debacle through a commission. A day will come here as well when a commission will probe the war, and then doors will be closed forever.
The GDP growth rate of India is good. We had also the same growth rate in the past and I wished to resume the same by sorting out all the differences.
It is in the Holy Quran, that he is ‘Rubbul A’ala’meen’ not ‘Rubbul Muslimeen. The demeanour should be of dealing with individuals, which will do good to the progress of both countries.