Indian MP sees Pak military as key hurdle to peace

Dr Shashi Tharoor says civilian initiatives are unlikely to take off due to strategic view of the military.

Express January 06, 2012


Member of the Lok Sabha and former Indian external affairs minister Dr Shashi Tharoor blamed Pakistan’s powerful military establishment as ‘the main hurdle’ in direct peaceful relations with India.

Speaking at a policy discussion seminar titled “India and Pakistan: Cooperation or Conflict?” organised by the Jinnah Institute, Tharoor said that New Delhi is genuinely committed to establishing peaceful relations with Islamabad.

“The only apprehension on India’s part was the issue of terrorism; however, we want sustainable peace between the two countries,” he said.

Tharoor went on to say that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is pursuing fresh rounds of peace talks with Pakistan.

However, the Indian Member of Parliament did not stop short of claiming India’s multiple initiatives for peace were not responded to by Pakistan.

“During natural disasters, India offered Pakistan direct donations but they were rejected while the same were accepted when given through the United Nations.”

He said that Pakistan defines itself in opposition to India, and added that cooperation is the only way forward.

Tharoor also welcomed efforts made by President Asif Ali Zardari for trade links with India, and said that it reflected how important it is for Pakistan to normalise relations with India.

However, he said that the civilian initiatives by Pakistan are unlikely to take off because of the strategic view of the Pakistani military.

“Pakistanis interested in peace and regional security will definitely find willing partners in India.”

‘No hand in Balochistan violence’

Tharoor rejected allegations that India was creating trouble in Balochistan. “I am not an ordinary street man who only reads newspapers; I have access to the quarters where decision-making takes place and I can assure you that there is nothing remotely close to what you are assuming,” Tharoor said, while replying to a question.

He added that India is an emerging global player and cannot afford instability in its neighbours.

For the fulfillment of India’s global ambitions, it wants stability in the region which cannot be achieved without a stable Pakistan, he added.

Tharoor served as United Nations’ Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information from 1996 to 2007 and currently represents the constituency of Thiruvananthapuram in the Lok Sabha.

Tharoor is among the Jinnah Institute’s the first Distinguished Speakers of the ongoing Indo-Pakistan Track-II engagement termed the Chaophraya Dialogue.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2012.


Raj Patel | 11 years ago | Reply

Which equality with US, China or any other Donar Nation are you talking about??? When the nation learns to live on other people's handout, equality ends as beggars can not be choosers !!! In regards to relations with India, well creating, supporting and encouraging Proxy warriors to create mayhem in neighbouring nations is not a sign of attempting to build relationships. Even when the facts are placed in front of them, lack of action and considering them as assets also does not bode well in relation building exercise!!!! In regards to Afghanistan, its time Pakistan stop considering it as their provience ! This is an sovereign nation and its people are entitle to decide as to their relations with other nation ! This is not Pakistan's turf or call ! They have been more of hinderance than help in stablising this Nation.

Pakistani | 11 years ago | Reply

@International spectator: We know about the short falls in my country system ,We know every department of our country where it is going right and where it is wrong but I can't discuss it on international forum or blog because we can't tolerate the others to comment on our internal affairs . In the spirit of having a better world we request India to act like a big country(big economy ,big democracy etc etc.) and take all the measures which are blocking the peace process .We the youth of Pakistan has it very clearly in their minds that we need good relations with India but its not possible without some measures taken by India , for example at present involvement of India in Afghanistan is side lining PAK from economic benefits from Afghanistan,not negotiating on Kashmir (not even on 1/2 of it giving back to PAK) releasing all the reserves that PAK people have on waters and pull back its massive army from borders .India has a chance to win the confidence of PAK People by these measures,this confidence will yield a diversion of thoughts in ours and India's establishment(the main tussle creating people).In the end its all about People , when India take any measure related to PAK then do consider the effect on People of PAK . Do some measures and you will see the establishments of both sides will become ineffective of continuing rivalry. These is my last comment and a constructive conclusion. as 'International spectator' said its true we do want prosperity and growth but don't forget we will make relations on equality basis We the Pakistani nation prefer not to get dictated by other nations which is the case of US(its hard to beleive for anyone in world how much We dislike American Gov. attitude towards our sovereignty) . Thanks

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