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India told to address core issues affecting ties

Updated Mar 19, 2017 07:47am


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Terror issue alone cannot define entire gamut of bilateral ties, says Pakistan envoy.—Online/File
Terror issue alone cannot define entire gamut of bilateral ties, says Pakistan envoy.—Online/File

ISLAMABAD: Emphasising the need for revival of dialogue, Pakistan told India on Saturday that while terrorism remains a serious challenge to deal with there are other issues of equal importance that the two countries should address to bring improvement to their ties.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said that apart from terrorism other issues like Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek had also impacted the ties. These are the core issues required to be dealt with simultaneously, he added.

The candid talk from the ambassador came in response to queries from the host of India Today’s TV programme ‘India Conclave 2017’ telecast on Saturday.

Terror issue alone cannot define entire gamut of bilateral ties, says Pakistan envoy

Mr Basit maintained that the issue of terrorism could not alone define the entire gamut of ties between Pakistan and India. “By creating hype around it [terrorism], you cannot wish away other issues like Jammu and Kashmir.”

He urged the Indian government to create conducive environment by restoring the spirit of cooperation, thus paving the way for the settlement of core issues.

“What I underline is that we need an overall conducive environment. When we are not talking to each other, when we are avoiding each other and when there is no environment of cooperation, then how you can expect to move forward,” he asked.

Mr Basit said the two countries needed to decide the fundamental issues like Jammu and Kashmir first before moving to other issues like terrorism. “We need to be sitting across the table to discuss the difficult issues. We cannot expect progress in vacuum.”

About the Mumbai attack trial, he said both governments were cooperating with each other and expediting the process and expressed the hope that they would be able to make progress.

He said it was taking time as the crime was committed in India while trial was being held in Pakistan.

“Our suggestion to Indian friends would be not to jump the gun,” he said, adding that trial was under way, both countries were in touch with each other but cooperation was needed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

He underlined the need for assisting the court to dispense justice and rejected the presumption that issues like the Mumbai attack trial defined the bilateral ties.

Mr Basit questioned the Indian government over the progress in the Samjhota Express blast case.

In reply to a question about Hafiz Saeed, he said he had been put under house arrest and asked India to not jump the gun. He expressed the hope that India would share evidence relating to Hafiz Saeed.

The high commissioner said India needed to take basic decision over the bilateral ties whether to be influenced by such kind of acute approaches or to move ahead.

He asked the Indian authorities to overcome hostilities which preceded incidents like the Mumbai attack or Samjhota Express blast.

Mr Basit also advised his hosts to end the blame game as it would lead to nowhere.

About 70,000 innocent lives had been lost in war against terrorism in Pakistan, he said and quoted a senior US official as saying that Pakistan was being destabilised through Afghanistan.

The leadership of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan had found sanctuaries inside Afghanistan and were being provided with funding to carry out terrorist activities in Pakistan, he added.

On the Pathankot attack, the envoy said it required restoration of spirit of cooperation on part of his hosts.

He was of the opinion that the neighbouring country should overcome its prejudices against Pakistan.

Mr Basit said that democracy in Pakistan was being strengthened as the country had come a long way on this path and noted that some people found it difficult to do away with their pathological biases against the country.

He said that nobody could condone or justify terrorism.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2017


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Comments (59) Closed

Indian Muslim Mar 19, 2017 07:48am

Mere words won't work, need ground action.

sangun Mar 19, 2017 07:56am

The core issue is the very neighbour existing next to India

Letushavepeace Mar 19, 2017 08:01am

Modi was just waiting to get such a call

Good luck as terror and terror is the only issue first

Sneha Mar 19, 2017 08:04am

No thanks. Not interested.

VIVAAN SINGH Mar 19, 2017 08:37am

For India ... terror only the issue ..!! Forget future ties!!

INDI Mar 19, 2017 08:42am

Same old whining. You seem really desperate to talk.

kaliraja thangamani Mar 19, 2017 08:48am

This Ambassador should generate goodwill of Indian masses. But that is not happening.

A Mar 19, 2017 09:36am

Sunday more day in the life of Pakistan .....Kashmir again like any other day.....the Ambassador is doing nothing else! Good Day Sirs !!!

Jobolesonihaal Mar 19, 2017 09:43am

Terror is the core issue. Let's discuss terror first then we can go to the next issues.

Farhaz Mar 19, 2017 09:54am

I think talk is essential for Pakistan not India.

PrakashG Mar 19, 2017 09:58am

One day you ask India to address the Kashmir issue. Next day you will run to UN and US to address the Kashmir issue. First be clear in your mind whether Kashmir is a bilateral issue or an international issue.

Arun-KS Mar 19, 2017 10:02am

Good gambled articulation of cross-connected jumbled thoughts.

Dhanus menon Mar 19, 2017 10:07am

India can survive without talks

M. Emad Mar 19, 2017 10:10am

Narendra Modi and the new chief minister of UP Yogi Adityanath will surely address the 'core issues' affecting ties with Pakistan.

Anna Mar 19, 2017 10:08am

No please you concentrate only on Kashmir.

chandran Mar 19, 2017 10:20am

Fairness is advantage. Statements and logic hardly replace it.

Divakar Mar 19, 2017 10:27am

It was wrong on India's part to go for providing evidences to pakistan. The attack was nothing but an invation by ten cowards who didn't have the spine to enter with their uniforms.

KK Mar 19, 2017 10:59am

Mr Basit at his usual. I think we are more peaceful when we are not talking. Let us agree that we cannot be bossom friends with so many differences.

Realist InDIan Mar 19, 2017 11:08am

What a joke.Does Pakistan even has a stature that it can "tell" India to do some thing. Sip your coffee. It's like Yemen "telling" Saudi Arabia to put it in right context for your understanding.

opinion Mar 19, 2017 11:13am

Can a Pakistani TV channel broadcast a live interview of the India high commissioner to Pakistan?

AKKS Mar 19, 2017 11:36am

Terror alone is a major issue for a country like India that is developing very fast, and it's not something that could be played down !

opinion Mar 19, 2017 11:41am

Very fact that he is invited for a live penal discussion on a live TV debate demonstrates that India is willing to understand Pakistan's point of view without any prejudice.....however the same doesn't apply on the other side.

Kumar Mar 19, 2017 11:57am

Can you hear yourself?

Mas Mar 19, 2017 12:08pm

The core issue is Kashmir, unless it is resolved all other issues will remain.

logic Mar 19, 2017 12:09pm

What belongs to India belongs to India and what belongs to Pakistan belongs to Pakistan, doesn't the ambassador understand this simple logic and hence no issue on Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek.

Saif Zulfiqar Mar 19, 2017 12:09pm

Pakistan should not have any relations with India.

Rajesh Mar 19, 2017 12:25pm

Keep harping. No one is listening. India has no urgency to have normal relations with Pakistan.

Jingalaala Mar 19, 2017 12:36pm

His main achievement during his tenure is that he completely spoiled the relations between the two countries by his utterances and actions. He is not a diplomat at all.

Jingalaala Mar 19, 2017 12:39pm

@Saif Zulfiqar I agree with you Zulfiqarbhai completely.

Shame Mar 19, 2017 12:46pm

Its a shame that after 70 years of Partition there is still no peace between India and Pakistan.

timetostopthis Mar 19, 2017 12:52pm

After running to the UN and receiving no response from them, you are now back again wanting to talk to India. India has no interest in talking to you.

Internal affairs Mar 19, 2017 01:00pm

Its good for Pakistan to not interfere with the Internal affairs of India, similarly its good for India not to interfere in Pakistan's internal affairs for peace and progress in the region.

Desi Dimag Mar 19, 2017 01:03pm

India has some other priorities so no need to be impatient.

whyso Mar 19, 2017 01:17pm

@Saif Zulfiqar : yes Pakistan Government shall listen to you. you can extend your logic for Afghanistan and Iran as well.

omveer Mar 19, 2017 01:13pm

Same old broken record, Kashmir.... Kashmir..... Kashmir....The superduper flop since 1947. You won't get it. Period.I hope in your obsession to grab Kashmir, you don't lose something....As in the past

GS Mar 19, 2017 01:41pm

@Saif Zulfiqar That is the best thing for India.

jaydeep Mar 19, 2017 01:49pm

Not Interested .

jaydeep Mar 19, 2017 01:54pm

@Saif Zulfiqar Yes and we are not interested in having any with you .

Prateik Mar 19, 2017 02:05pm

Let Pakistan and India start talks in areas where they agree and gradually move to areas where they disagree.

Ramsay Bolton Mar 19, 2017 02:16pm

@Saif Zulfiqar: You resonated the voice of majority of Indians.

Ramsay Bolton Mar 19, 2017 02:22pm

Not interested, move on with life.

Mike London Mar 19, 2017 05:37pm

The core issue is double crossing.

Zak Mar 19, 2017 07:21pm

@PrakashG it is an international issue because it is a UN resolution.

Naughty Baramullah Boy { Repulbic of Jammu and Kashmir} Mar 19, 2017 08:08pm

@INDI , Yes, it is really conscience awakening with a humane and conscience hibernation with inhumane. The Pakistani intellectuals are really matching with humane and international concerns , therefore, they advise the neirghbours to stop crime against the citizens of occupied land. When the neighbours feel the pain of us, it means they are humane unlike you.

Naughty Baramullah Boy { Repulbic of Jammu and Kashmir} Mar 19, 2017 08:16pm

@Farhaz , Dude, Talks is as essentail for india as pakistan. They are bound to international law, hence, they are accountable for all the wrong doings in republic of j&K. We appreciate pakistan for help and its support.

asif Ali Mar 19, 2017 08:44pm

Why do we as Pakistanis want to take this Kashmiri mess? After all, they refuse to join us. We must concentrate to give our young generation good food and education they deserve more, there is too much sacrifice we did for Kashmiris with no result, also there is no hope in near future.

HOPESO Mar 19, 2017 09:02pm

Given conditions today, it will be tough to resume talks.

Shruti Sahu Mar 20, 2017 12:15am

Terror is the only core issue, what else you are looking for?

Echs Mar 20, 2017 12:24am

@Saif Zulfiqar they why mr basit talking talking time & again when India is not interested. They believe in action not only talking

Thought Mar 20, 2017 12:36am

@Indian Muslim yes from Indian side

Thought Mar 20, 2017 12:41am

@Naughty Baramullah Boy { Repulbic of Jammu and Kashmir} well said

DAWN Mar 20, 2017 01:04am

Affecting ties with who?

AW Mar 20, 2017 01:26am

It is obvious that India wants no talks at this time so why waste time on begging India. Let us focus on our domestic issues and address them in the interim as well as make policies to economically develop Pakistan to its full potential

DADA Mar 20, 2017 02:09am

@asif Ali: Very realistic. I am glad there are people like you how can see the future.

Visitor Mar 20, 2017 02:22am

@Saif Zulfiqar well said..but, unfortunately it is pakistan that is asking for talks

Observer Mar 20, 2017 05:40am

Given this attitude like ' India told', forget about talks.

OSCAR PINTO Mar 20, 2017 06:21am

Funny headline ........." India TOLD to " ...............

D.K. PAMNANI Mar 21, 2017 09:55am


Ayub Mar 22, 2017 04:27am

His performance as High Commissioner to India remained an average.