Former Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri who is in Mumbai for the launch of his book, said on Monday that Pakistan wanted the BJP to come to power in 2004 as they had made good progress in talks with then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
"In 2004 we wanted BJP to win because we had made good progress in talks with Vajpayee ji and Brajesh Mishra ji," ANI quoted Kasuri as saying at a press meet over the attack on Sudheeran Kulkarni allegedly by Shiv Sena workers.
Both the nations can overcome the misunderstandings through "positive leadership", Kasuri added. "In Pakistan, India has not been an issue in the last three general elections. Do not underestimate the common sense of the people of Pakistan and India. It is possible for misunderstandings between the two nations to be overcome, but only through positive leadership," The Quint quoted him as saying.
Kasuri's comments come at a time when the relation between the two nations has turned hostile over Kashmir issue and constant ceasefire violations along the border. India has in the past cancelled talks with Pakistan over Kashmir issue and the meeting of Pakistan dignitaries with Kashmiri separatists.
The unsolved issues between the neighbouring nations have resulted in protest by the Shiv Sena. The group first protested against Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali's concert in Mumbai and then threatened to disrupt Kasuri's book launch. Shiv Sainiks allegedly attacked Kulkarni, the chairman of India-based think tank, Observer Research Foundation, for not cancelling the launch of Kasuri's book "Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider's Account of Pakistan's Foreign Policy" in Mumbai on 12 October.
Shiv Sena, which is in power in Maharashtra along with the BJP, has not accepted Kulkarni's allegations. It has instead supported the attack, saying it was a "very mild reaction".
Unfazed by the attack, Kulkarni has decided to go ahead with the launch. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has assured tight security for both the launch and Kasuri.
Senior BJP leader LK Advani has condemned the attack on Kulkarni. "Sudheendra Kulkarni has been attacked, I strongly condemn whosoever has done it," he said.