India failed to play responsible role in region: Jahangir | jaipur | Hindustan Times
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India failed to play responsible role in region: Jahangir

jaipur Updated: Jan 23, 2010 17:05 IST
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As the largest democracy in the world, India has so far failed to play the responsible role expected of it in its neighbourhood, feels noted Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir.

Jahangir, who is also the UN rapporteur for freedom of religion or belief, said there was no denying the fact that Pakistan as the centre of fundamentalism has been a "menace" in the region, but India could have been a lot more supportive to the Pakistani society seeking freedom and democracy.

"...The kind of responsible neighbourhood we expected from the largest democracy sitting next to us...We did not receive it.

While individually people here are very humble and hospitable, collectively there is a sense of arrogance," Jahangir, who was here to attend the fifth edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said.

"Expectations of neighbourhood from India have been that it would help forces of democracy but India has closed its eyes...Forget Pakistan but also in Nepal and Myanmar," she said.

Jahangir said while no sensible Pakistani would blame Pakistan's problems on anybody else rather than on itself, the country's civil society at least would expect India to be more understanding, "may be just lend a hand to say we are there in your tough times".