NEW DELHI: India's National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon on Tuesday advocated for holding dialogue with 'saner' elements in Pakistan, rejecting opposition from within the country which urged the government not to engage in dialogue with Islamabad until there was an end to all terror attacks, The Times of India reported.
Delivering the Sardar Patel memorial lecture on India and the World, Menon said that India should talk to 'saner' elements in Pakistan.
Referring to the Congress "iron man' Sardar Ballavbhai Patel, he said, "Our Pakistan policy still faces the dilemmas that Patel's generation faced: of how to prevent the enemies of India from having their way. Patel's answer was clear, as you saw from his Amritsar speech: fight your enemies at a time and place of your choosing but do not make innocents, the people, (or refugees in that specific case), victims of your policy."
Talking about the pressure from within India demanding that talks not to be held with Pakistan unless conditions became conducive, after the recent clashes at the Line of Control (LoC) Menon said, "When 40 self-styled experts and some political groups say do not talk to Pakistan until ideal conditions exist and all terrorism stops it betrays a lack of self-confidence. That is precisely what the terrorists and their sponsors in the Pakistani establishment want, for us not to talk to those in Pakistan who might differ from them."
The India NSA was of the view that India stood to gain more in case
"Not talking does not change the behaviour of our enemies. In fact it hands them a success that only encourages them. At the very least talking to the saner elements in Pakistan could encourage them to stand for the right policies and could create confusion among our enemies," he added.
Patel, he said, reminded Indians that they should build their internal strength to be able to deal with the world more ably.
"That was his core message, which it was from strength that one had to negotiate, not just talk, about the issues. But at the same time, as his own example shows, he did not wait for ideal situations and conditions in order to engage."