Regime change won't affect India-Pakistan ties: Salman Bashir

Kolkata, Dec 30 : Declining to comment on the prospect of the BJP's Narendra Modi becoming the prime minister, outgoing Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir Monday said any regime change in India would not affect bilateral ties.

"We respect every leader, every political party, and it being India's internal matter, we don't have an opinion on that. The common denominator is the people of India. Therefore our reach out is to the people," Bashir told media persons here when asked to give his views about Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate.

"It is not proper for me or for anybody from Pakistan to be here in India and comment either on Indian political process or any situation in any other country," he added.

With the Lok Sabha elections due in India early next year, Bashir said any change in the regime will not come in the way of the mutual ties which both the countries have been working to improve.

"I don't think that regime change really matters. The relation between states are state relations. They are not personal or party specific. It is the considered policy of Pakistan to forge friendly and cooperative relations with India."

"So your question remains relevant in terms of reciprocation and it is my sense that people of India are desirous to see better relations with Pakistan as in their own interest. That's my sense," he said.

Bashir asserted that Pakistan was a firm believer in democracy.

"In a democracy, whatever democracy delivers is something that is good and we firmly believe in that. We have had an election and democracy has delivered outstanding results in terms of stable government in Pakistan," he said.

He also rubbished allegations that Pakistan promoted terrorism and claimed: "We are at forefront in defeating terrorism."

--IANS (Posted on 30-12-2013)

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