Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Saturday said that people of Pakistan share a closeness with India.
Speaking at a book launch event in Pune, Pawar said, "Whenever I have spoken to common people of Pakistan during my visit there, I have felt that they share a closeness with India."
He further said those who ask people to "go to Pakistan" neither understood Pakistan nor India.
"If a youth, belonging to the minority, makes such statements then some people ask him to go to Pakistan. What is Pakistan ? There may be differences today but before independence, it was the part of India only.. Being the chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC), I had to travel to Pakistan multiple times. I got the chance to communicate with Pakistan team players multiple times and every time I had experienced that there is a closeness they have about every Indian. They have their brothers - sisters in Uttar Pradesh or other states but just because of the situation between both the countries they unable to meet each other so easily. And hence those who ask go to Pakistan neither know Pakistan nor India.," he added.
Ties between India and Pakistan have remained tense since the 2008 Mumbai terror attack and nosedived after the Uri terror attack by Pakistan-based terrorists in September 2016, that claimed lives of 19 Indian soldiers.
The relation further deteriorated after a military court in Pakistan sentenced naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav to death on charges of alleged espionage and terrorism in April last year.