Abdul Basit, the Pakistani envoy to New Delhi, on Monday said that his country doesn’t need hyper-nationalism to pursue its foreign policy goals.
Taking exception to India’s efforts to isolate Islamabad diplomatically on the issue of terrorism, Basit said Jammu and Kashmir is the root cause of all problems between the neighbours.
“Pakistan is a proud country of 200 million people. It doesn’t need misplaced jingoism and hyper nationalism to pursue its foreign policy objectives”, Basit told a think-tank in Delhi, according to a press release issued by Pakistan high commission.
His comments came against the backdrop of strong anti-Pakistani sentiments among a section in India in the wake of a terror attack in northern Kashmir’s Uri that killed 19 people last month. Even Bollywood filmmakers casting Pakistani actors in their films have faced strong protests.
India blames Pakistan-based terrorists for the Uri attack, a claim Pakistan has denied.
He then asked: “How on earth it is possible to isolate a country on terrorism when that country itself is the worst victim of terrorism?”
He reiterated Jammu and Kashmir is the root cause of all “our problems” and the dispute has made “us mutually antagonistic”.
Kashmir Valley has been on the boil since the July 8-killing of Burhan Wani, a militant leader. While Pakistan has accused Indian forces of using excessive force to crush protests in the Valley, New Delhi has accused Islamabd of formenting trouble.