Amid severe warmongering and India’s hollow claim of Pakistan’s ‘isolation’, High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has said that no country on earth can isolate Pakistan.
“Rather than wasting time in isolating Pakistan, it is important to look at ways to integrate and connect with each other,” he offered a piece of advice to the Modi government during an interview with Times of India on Sunday.
“I find this amusing. Pakistan is a country of 200 million people. We are blessed with such a remarkable geo-strategic location that no country on earth can isolate us,” he added.
Basit’s statements refute Prime Minister Modi’s claims that he has succeeded in isolating Pakistan. “India has succeeded in isolating you [Pakistan] in the world. We will ramp it up and force you [to] live alone in the world,” the Indian premier had said while addressing a public meeting.
When asked about the talks between the two countries and Pakistan’s ‘reluctance’ to play a meaningful role in it, the high commissioner said that Pakistan did not want to participate in the talks just “for the heck of it”. “If the effort is to bide more time, to procrastinate then obviously talks for the sake of talks would take us nowhere.”
Denying that there is any impasse on the dialogues between Islamabad and New Delhi, the diplomat said that the framework is already complete and both countries just have to initiate the process.
“We do not have any impasse as far as the framework for dialogue is concerned. The two countries agreed in December 2015, when Sushma Swaraj ‘sahiba’ travelled to Islamabad for the Heart of Asia conference, on the framework.”
He added: “Now the question is how to start the process. Whenever that dialogue process begins, it has to be on the basis of the agreement we were able to have in December last year.”
On why Pakistan rejected Indian’s claims of a ‘surgical strike’ inside the country, Basit remarked that if India wanted to consider cross-border firing as surgical strike then he couldn’t stop them. “..had there been any ‘surgical strike’, Pakistan would have responded immediately and proportionately. And we do not need time for preparation.”
Asked why Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would call Burhan Wani a martyr, the diplomat questioned if all those thousands of people who attended his funeral were also terrorists.
“Over 100 people have been killed, more than 14,000 injured since July 9. Were they also terrorists? If you look at the Kashmiri struggle through the prism of terrorism, you would arrive at the wrong conclusion. Do you want to declare all people of J&K terrorists?” he raised multiple questions.
Basit went on to say: “We find it difficult to understand why India is not forthcoming in addressing this dispute. Even the Simla Agreement mentions that this dispute has to be resolved. But how can we resolve the issue without talking?”