Military’s intentions towards India ‘overrated’: Hina

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Claiming that army does not run Pakistan’s foreign policy, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said the military’s intentions towards India have been “overrated” and there is a need to break away from this perception.
“We sometimes overrate the role of the military and overrate their intentions especially when it comes to India… Let’s not be burdened by our history. Let’s move forward. I think Pakistan has learnt its lessons,” she said.
Khar made the remarks during an interview with Newsweek magazine’s Pakistan edition when she was asked about the role of the Pakistan Army and the ISI’s historical ties with militant groups, especially those fighting in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The army does not run our foreign policy,” she said. “They (the army) are important stakeholders and not an outside force, so we should stop viewing them as such. After all the institutions are taken on board, a view emerges, and that is the government’s view, which is Pakistan’s view,” she said.
Referring to her visit to New Delhi last month for talks with her Indian counterpart SM Krishna, Khar said, “The dialogue process with India should be uninterrupted and uninterruptible, and the environment we found there was exceptionally healthy.”
Khar was not pleased with the media’s focus on her fashionable clothes and accessories during her visit. However, she contended she had achieved the objectives of her visit.
“Whatever goals and expectations we went with to India, we achieved,” she said.
This included a commitment toward facilitating greater trade and travel between the two parts of Kashmir and keeping the talks going.
Referring to the headlines on both sides of the border about her accessories, including Cavalli sunglasses, Mikimoto pearls and an expensive Birkin bag, Khar said, “People were calling it the Ministry of Fashion Affairs… I am very comfortable with the fact that I am much more than that.”
Khar’s comments about the role of the military were in marked contrast to powerful army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s assertion that Pakistan and its army were “India-centric” because the two countries have unresolved issues and a history of conflict.
During an interaction with journalists last year, Kayani made it clear that his force remained “India-centric” despite the growing threat posed by a raging insurgency waged by groups linked to Taliban and al Qaeda.
Foreign ministry insiders have said Khar was elevated from the post of minister of state to a full-fledged minister in July because the powerful military establishment perceived her as not being as independent-minded as her predecessor, Shah Mahmood Qureshi. He was dropped from the post during a Cabinet reshuffle earlier this year after he angered the military with his opposition to efforts to free CIA contractor Raymond Davis.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Pak millitary does for Pakistan what a millitary of an independant state should or does to ensure its security. And ISI is its first and formost defense line. We are very proud that both have kept Pakistan secured from foreign aggression and have cope with foreign funded internal challenges very well.

    FM Khar has rightly pointed it out that certain people "over rate" Pak millitary role when it comes to relations with India, which is wrong. These vested interest falsely try to paint RAW and Indian military as saint and to ISI vise versa.

    SHAHID HUSSEIN QABOOLPURIA,
    LAHORE ,PAKISTAN

  2. Madam Hina we want you to remain Minister of Foreign Affairs but your comments are too early on India centric or otherwise. Nation wants your thoughts and inputs on foreign relations not only with India but also with other countries. You are no doubt an intelligent lady so try to be diplomatic in what you say otherwise people will label you as Army centric. Don't give any damn if some says Minister of Fashion Affairs. Try to give young generation some new approach both on international and foreign policies.

  3. Foreign Minister Khar is absolutely right in pointing out that foreign office is run by the foreign office staff and the foreign policy is formed by the foreign minister after taking concerned dignitries in consideration and also to get the consent from the President and PM. You know it is a one whole round circle, the circle of trust. People in this circle do give their feed back to form a solid foreign policy. Military is one of the element and legislature, executive, judiciary and some agencies. But yes, it is not only military which calls the shots to make a foreign policy for India.

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