‘India needs to stop taking Pakistan for a punching bag’


Former ambassador BA Malik said on Wednesday that India should stop blame game for improving bilateral relations with Pakistan as accusations against each other always affect the positive impacts of confidence-building measures taken by both the countries. The veteran diplomat told APP that there is a tendency in India to blame Pakistan for anything that goes wrong there. He said that recently there were reports of tensions between Muslims and ethnic Bodos in Assam, and Indian rulers and media immediately pointed finger towards Pakistan, he added. Malik said Indian allegations that internet pictures and SMSs by Pakistan-based elements about violence against Muslims in Assam were creating trouble were ridiculous. While referring to an article in Wall Street Journal, BA Malik said that India by turning spotlight to Pakistan only wants to distract from what is a purely domestic issue. He said that Tom Wright in Wall Street Journal has rightly stated that the Indian govt or media has not given any evidence about Pakistan’s involvement in the communal tensions between Muslims and Bodos.
Malik said that India being the bigger country has the responsibility to show big heart and take practical steps for normalising relations with Pakistan. Citing example of Europe, he said despite fighting two world wars, they forgot the past and moved forward and they have ceased tensions and abolished visas and formed a European market which has benefitted the entire population of those countries. He said if Islamabad and New Delhi can end hostilities, it will benefit not only both Pakistan and India but the entire region. “Pakistan and India have fought wars in the past, but they could not resolve any issue through wars, rather the situation aggravated. Poverty and ignorance are common enemies of both the countries and their leadership should show maturity and fight these enemies by diverting their resources towards people’s welfare and that can be done after ending hostilities.” He said that overwhelming majority of the masses on both sides of Wagah support peace, so it is necessary to defeat the designs of hardliners like Bal Thackeray. The ambassador said that there are several disputes between India and Pakistan, including Kashmir and Siachen, which can only be resolved through talks and a congenial environment is imperative for holding meaningful and result-oriented talks. He was of the opinion that besides internal enemies of peace, some external powers were also averse to friendly relations of the two neighbours as since decades they have been selling defence arsenal to them.


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