Pune, May 14:
During a gathering in the Eid-Milan programme in Kondhwa, Pune, Nationalist Congres Party (NCP) Cheif Sharad Pawar praised the commoners in Pakistan, along with their hospitality.
Recalling his visit to Karachi for a cricket match, Pawar said, "I remember that we had taken our cricket team to Karachi and after finishing the match, the players told me that they want to see some parts of Pakistan, where we headed to a restaurant...when we went to pay the bill they refused and said that we were their guests so they can not take the money."
"We know Sachin Tendulkar, we like his game we know u all," he said quoting the Pakistan restaurant. "My personal experience is that the common man of Pakistan is not our opponent, those who want to do politics and keep the control of power with Army, they hold the stand of conflict and hate... but the majority of the people there think for how can the situation be made more peaceful..."
He said that he always received a warm welcome in Pakistan wherever he used to visit as the Union Minister.
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"Be it Lahore, Karachi, wherever we went, warm welcome was accorded. We had gone to Karachi with our cricket team for a match. A day after the match, players expressed their desire to see the places around them... We went to a restaurant and after having breakfast, when we tried to pay the bill, the restaurant owner refused to take money, and said we were their guests," he said.
The common people of Pakistan are not India's enemy, Pawar further said. "Those who want to do politics and seize power with the help of the (Pakistani) army, they favour conflict," he added.
Expressing his concerns about the wrong leadership, the NCP chief said that many Pakistanis having their relatives in India are struggling to meet them. "Anything can happen if there is a wrong leadership," he stated.