Sheikh Ahmed was addressing the press conference after the two-day Saarc information ministers meeting in the Capital. Interestingly, at the inaugural, Mr Vajpayee was critical of Saarc and had said: If Saarc cannot organise itself, it will simply miss the boat.
Also, if Mr Vajpayee had hit out at Pakistans restrictive media policy, and ban on Indian TV channels and films on Tuesday, Pak minister blamed India squarely while highlighting the hostility between the two nations and non-resolution of Kashmir dispute.
Mr Vajpayee had said: We need to use the (media) technologies rather than suppress them. We should try to ensure that our population have free access to all the media platforms in our region....In this way, media can be a powerful force for information rather than propaganda.... And, a day later, Sheikh Ahmed said: The continued hostility between India and Pakistan has quite adversely affected the growth of trade, economic and cultural relations in South Asia. And, then he added: Pakistan stands for tension-free, co-operative and friendly relations with India. It is in our mutual interest.
Although the Pak minister dismissed most media questions with let us see and we will see, he urged the media to play a meaningful role in bridging the gap between India and Pakistan. He said while the issue of over-flying would be taken up at a meeting scheduled for December 2, lifting of the ban on Indian TV channels would be discussed after that.