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Tackling Terror
Can’t be bullied by India: Pak
Afzal Khan writes from Islamabad

Rejecting Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna’s latest statement, Pak foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit has said Pakistan cannot be bullied.

Commenting on Krishna’s statement that there would be no exchange of terrorists between the two countries and any future attack from Pakistani side of the border would harm relations, Basit said it was the Indian minister’s personal opinion, and as far as terrorism was concerned, no country could be more sincere than Pakistan to tackle it because “we are the real victims”.

Terming the statement as “immature”, he said despite Pakistan’s cooperation, Indian response was “not positive” and rather “lethargic”.

A deadlock in relations between the two countries would only be beneficial for “non-state actors”, he said. Both countries, he said, were nuclear powers and to think about war would be suicidal. The spokesman said Pakistan was fully capable of defending its boarders. “Our nuclear deterrence is credible,” he added.

He said Pakistan did not want any tension between the two countries. For durable peace in the region, India should respond positively to Pakistan’s peace offers, he said. According to him, resumption of composite dialogue was the only way for peaceful resolution of all issues.

Basit said terrorism was a global phenomenon and the Mumbai terrorist attack was not possible until and unless there were elements in India who “made the attack possible”.

India should understand realities and avoid issuing statements that could create tension, he added.

When asked about the statement of US Defence Secretary Robert Gates that incidents like Mumbai attack could happen in future and India would not restrain itself this time, the spokesman said Pakistan was already tackling terrorism effectively, urging India and other countries to cooperate with it.



Islamabad can blame no one for its woes, says rights activist Asma
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Noted human rights activist Asma Jehangir (second from left) at the Jaipur literary fest on Saturday.
Noted human rights activist Asma Jehangir (second from left) at the Jaipur literary fest on Saturday. Photo by writer

Jaipur, January 23
Noted human rights activist from Pakistan, Asma Jehangir, has said Pakistan had a lot to blame itself for the problems that it was facing today.

Addressing a session, “A tough neighbourhood”, during the Jaipur Literature Festival, Asma said any sensible Pakistani would not blame others for the country’s woes. She said, “We don’t say we are not the menace. We are the menace and we need to amend a lot, not for you, but ourselves. We need to be good neighbours.”

However, she said Pakistan didn’t receive adequate support from the largest democracy in the world i.e. India. She said though she admired the hospitality that she received in India there was a sense of arrogance even in discourse like “we’re so big, so great”.

She accused India of closing its eyes to changes in the neighbourhood while referring to Nepal and Myanmar, which, according to her, came as a bit of disappointment. She said there was a need for India to learn self-criticism. She said the least India could have done for Pakistan was extending a hand and saying “look, we are here”. Responding to her remarks, former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said India was doing enough to help Pakistan.



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