Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pakistan minister for Kashmir affairs arrives in India, to visit his birthplace

Pakistan federal minister for Kashmir affairs Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo along with his family  arrived in India through Wagah border on Wednesday morning. He is on a private tour and will visit his ancestral village and birthplace Muazzam near Fazilka.

Wattoo who has arrived here on invitation of the state government said, "Pakistan was committed to resolve the Kashmir issue and it is possible through dialogue, and understanding of what Kashmiris want since they are the main stakeholders in this issue." Stressing that Kashmir issue has pushed India and Pakistan too far from each other, Wattoo said that Pakistan was committed to resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue and advise of Kashmiris.

When asked whether both the countries are stuck on this issue, Wattoo said, "Resolving Kashmir issue is our top priority and we are consistently working on that. I personally feel that the kind of atmosphere created now wherein dialogue is on, solution to this long pending issue is possible, he added."

He also appreciated the way both countries have initiated talks on key issues, especially the recent foreign ministers' meet in Islamabad. He denied commenting when questioned on Pakistani delegates in the past meeting the fundamentalists in Kashmir first, and then their Indian counterparts.

Earlier, getting emotional about his visit to India, Wattoo said, "My ancestors lived in Muazzam village near Fazilka and I was born there. I was a child when our family moved to Pakistan." It was always a desire to see the village again and I feel lucky that the day has come, he added.

When asked about his stay in India Wattoo said, "I will like to see the house where my family lived, the streets, meet people and spend some time in the village. You can understand how eager a person can be to see his birth place." My wife, two sons, daughter and son-in-law are accompanying me and they all are very keen to see the village, he said.

The minister will stay at village Badal for one night and then move towards New Delhi. The minister, on his arrival, was received by Ajnala MP Rattan Singh, cabinet minister Surjit Jayani, Amritsar deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal, BSF officials and others.

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