Will resume talks if Pakistan becomes a normal state: Indian official
According to the official, India will continue to put sustained pressure on Pakistan to deliver on its promises regarding these and also seek global support to ensure that Islamabad turns off funding and training of jihadists in pursuance of its national objectives.Updated: Jul 30, 2018 06:34 IST
A top Indian official said that India would unilaterally do all that is required to normalise ties with Pakistan if the country, under the leadership of Imran Khan, takes effective measures to clamp down on terror groups targeting India and South Asia.
The comments of the official, one of the senior most in the Indian security-diplomatic establishment, come in response to Pakistan prime minister-designate Imran Khan’s comments that if India takes one step towards Pakistan, it would take two.
“One need not be poetic about bilateral relations. India does not need Pakistan to take two steps as the Modi government will take all the steps required once Islamabad delinks terror groups as an instrument of its foreign policy,” the South Block official said on the condition of anonymity.
The rise of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) doesn’t come as a surprise to India, the official said, because the former cricketer’s proximity to the army is known. Rawalpindi GHQ exercises a lot of influence in Pakistan’s domestic as well as foreign policies. India, the official added, would wait and see how Khan proceeds against terror groups and delivers on Islamabad’s past assurances and commitments on dealing with the perpetrators of the 26/11 and the Pathankot terror attacks before taking the next step.
According to the official, India will continue to put sustained pressure on Pakistan to deliver on its promises regarding these and also seek global support to ensure that Islamabad turns off funding and training of jihadists in pursuance of its national objectives.
“Islamabad should not blame India for defaming its name or convince China to agree to put Pakistan on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list for funding terror groups. Instead, it should concentrate on taking action against globally proscribed terror groups. Pakistan has to just become a normal state for India to resume talks and bilateral ties,” said the official.
Significantly, Khan’s statement is in consonance with the Pakistan army’s peace overtures on the Line of Control (LoC) during the general elections as well as in the weekly DGMO-level telephonic communications. There has hardly been any firing across the LoC and infiltration has been limited to small groups of 4-6 militants, who do not have usual covering fire support, crossing into Jammu and Kashmir. The Pakistan Army Chief has also been talking in terms of peace with India.
Indian diplomats, foreign policy mandarins and army officials are closely monitoring events in Pakistan, particularly any action that Khan takes with the support of Rawalpindi GHQ to weed out terrorist leaders including ones carrying global rewards on their head, from the political process. In this context, Pakistan’s action on 26/11 main accused Hafiz Saeed and Pathankot airbase attack perpetrator Masood Azhar will define the future course of bilateral relationship.
Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran told Hindustan Times that there should be no hurry on the part of India to judge Khan’s intentions.
“Let him first take office as Prime Minister of Pakistan and then spell out his new initiatives. He has talked about having trade ties with India. Let’s not pre-judge the issue as people of Pakistan have shown that when given a choice they have no truck with the likes of Hafiz Saeed. Not one of the Lashkar candidates won in the election. The best is to wait and watch.”
First Published: Jul 30, 2018 06:34 IST