A Member of Parliament from Pakistan, Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, on Saturday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and junior external affairs minister VK Singh on the sidelines of an event, according to people familiar with the developments.
Vankwani is a member of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and, while the details of his meetings are not known, he said that he will help mediate between the governments of both countries to defuse tension in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.
“"Firstly, I would like to thank the Indian government for their welcome. I meet General VK Singh and Prime Minister Modi. I held a good discussion with Sushma Swaraj for 25-30 minutes and have asked her to take things in a positive direction. We want to unite India and Pakistan. War is not a solution. She also shared her grievances and I have given her assurance. I can say that Pakistan Government won't let anyone use its soil for foul play. We want peace. We want to increase trade”, he said after his meeting.
Vankwani is the founder of Pakistan Hindu Council and was earlier in former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N.
At the event in Delhi, Vankwani said he shared a spiritual connection with India and visited the country twice every year, even if he was not on a government-sponsored trip.
However, taking a complete U-turn, the Pakistan government on Saturday dismissed its own claim of taking over the control of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) headquarters in Bahawalpur and said the complex has no link with the terror outfit, which claimed responsibility for the deadly Pulwama suicide attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a video message on social media, Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the Punjab government took administrative control of Madrassatul Sabir and Jamia-e-Masjid Subhanallah in Bahawalpur in line with the decisions taken during the National Security Council meeting held on Thursday and as part of the National Action Plan.
Rejecting his earlier announcement that the complex was JeM headquarters, Chaudhry said, "This is the madrassah (seminary) and India is doing propaganda that it is the JeM headquarters."
(With inputs from PTI)