SRINAGAR: Hours before he took off for Islamabad from Delhi to put in his papers, Pakistan’s interim Law and Information Minister Syed Ali Zafar sung Atal Behari Vajpayee’s famous Hindi poem Jung Nahin Hounay Daingay. Zafar had flown to participate in Vajpayee’s funeral as head of the Pakistan delegation.
But what he did not miss was Kashmir. Before taking off, he had a meeting with India’s External affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. After the routine meeting, he spoke to media and hoped that “India and Pakistan will be able to resolve all issues between them, including that of Jammu and Kashmir, through dialogue.”
Having come to express grief over the death of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Pakistan`s interim Minister of Law and Information, Syed Ali Zafar, on Friday, did not forget to mention Kashmir during a media interaction following his meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
“I have come here as a representative of people of Pakistan to share your grief,” Zafar was quoted by media saying. “Vajpayee Sahab was a man of peace and gave visionary leadership to India. People who value peace are admired in Pakistan. We hope that as in grief we will share your happy moments too in the future. The issues which we have between our countries which include the issue of Jammu and Kashmir will be resolved through dialogue and peacefully.”
What was different was that Zafar said he would leave only after he says what Vajpayeeji had said. He recited part of Vajpayee’s famous poem: Jung Nahin Hounay Daingay.
Bharat-Pakistan padosi saath saath rahna hoga;
pyar kare ya vaar kare; dono ko hi sehna hoga;
jo hum par gujri bachhon par na honey denge;
jung na honey denge.
This, he said, he read because he knows words are immortal.
His utterances were quickly responded by the External Affairs ministry. Raveesh Kumar, the spokesperson of the ministry took to twitter: “Remembering a visionary who dreamed terror-free and prosperous subcontinent! Pakistan`s caretaker Minister of Law and Justice, Syed Ali Zafar expressed condolences to EAM @SushmaSwaraj on sad demise of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.”
Officially, Pakistan has been insisting that Vajpayee’s was a serious peacemaker. After his demise, Pakistan foreign office said in a statement: “Vajpayee was a renowned statesman who contributed to bringing a change in India-Pakistan relations and remained a key supporter of SAARC and regional cooperation for development.”
Back home, the first job for Zafar, after landing in Islamabad, was to drive to the secretariat and put in his papers. “All praise is to Allah. Today handed over reigns to new Government,” Zafar wrote on his twitter. “Mood in country is of hope and renewed energy. Let’s make most of it.” In Pakistan Imran Khan government has taken over and by Sunday his list of cabinet will be out.