Kasuri also called for strategic 'baby steps' was required to diplomatically solve the tensions between India and Pakistan

Former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri speaking at the WION Global Summit in Dubai on Thursday revealed that India and Pakistan were very close to solving the Kashmir issue bilaterally at one point.

He also said that no Indian official has denied his claim. In fact, they have supported him and have acknowledged that India and Pakistan were very close to solving the problem in Kashmir in early 2007.

Former minister Kasuri also informed how Indian and Pakistan missed an opportunity of signing an agreement on Sir Creek because of elections in India and coup by General Musharaff.

Kasuri also called for strategic "baby steps" to diplomatically solve the tensions between India and Pakistan.

"We have been through comprehensive dialogue and composite dialogue. The Shanghai Corporation meeting will happen in New Delhi, I doubt PM Imran Khan will go since it will be a big political risk but if India creates a more congenial atmosphere maybe Pakistan will send its foreign minister. So baby steps would ensure that the situation does not deteriorate further," he said at the WION Global Summit.

"The other is religious tourism, you saw how successful the Kartarpur initiative was. When I was foreign minister, I had invited Mr Advani since we had restored a temple near Islamabad and another famous temple in Baluchistan and then Muslims can be invited to visit shrines in India including Ajmer Sharif," Kasuri asserted.

"I was once called by Colin Powell, he said get ready to receive good news, next day former PM Vajpayee extended the famous hand of friendship to Pakistan and we immediately invited him, so a world power can play a major role," Kasuri felt.

"Mr Vajapee was a wise man, he had said, you can change your friends but not your neighbours," Kasuri added. "How shall we live together? that is the challenge," he said.

On SAARC, the former Pakistan foreign minister said: "I am a great believer in SAARC, India and Pakistan engaged a lot. I once calculated there were more than 200 meetings in a year between the two countries. It creates a new dynamic. It makes a lot of difference with a personal touch," Pakistan's former foreign minister said.