Take our hand of friendship, India tells Pakistan

* Indian foreign minister says Islamabad must take credible action against terrorists

* Says New Delhi will like to cooperate with Pakistan against terrorism

By Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: India has extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan through its new foreign minister SM Krishna.

But the foreign minister said that dialogue between the two nuclear neighbours might, however, not be forthcoming unless Islamabad dismantled terrorist camps inside its territory and took a more determined action against terrorist organisations.

In an interview to a weekly magazine, Krishna said the offer came from the new government, which was waiting for Islamabad’s reaction.

“We would like friendship with Pakistan, we would like to live peacefully, we want [a] stable Pakistan and we expect them to reciprocate these sentiments,” he said.

When told that India’s earlier offer of cooperation and joint anti-terror mechanism with Pakistan had not worked, he said: “After 26/11 we expected Pakistan to act in a determined fashion but they took a long time to acknowledge that the plot was hatched in the Pakistani territory, but they had to concede that they were Pakistani nationals.”

He said Pakistan had disappointed India on that score.

Action:

Krishna said Islamabad would have to take credible action. “I am sure the Pakistani government understands what that credible action is,” he said.

“All that we want is that Pakistan should take an unequivocal stand against terrorism that they will not allow any terrorist organisation to train in Pakistan [and] whatever evidence we have given them about training camps and infrastructure has to be dismantled. These are some of the prerequisites before the dialogue can begin,” Krishna said.

On a question regarding the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, Krishna said: “That’s why we want a stable Pakistan. In a country where there is element of instability, naturally these concerns come to the fore since Pakistan is a nuclear power.”

Asked if he had timeframe on what he wanted to achieve in the next 100 days on the foreign policy front, he said: “Foreign policy cannot have a timeframe like you have for the economic ministries. Depending on the exigencies of the government, continuity will guide our approach.”

He said India strongly condemned terrorism wherever it happened.

Cooperation:

“Pakistan is becoming vulnerable to terrorist attacks of this kind, and we would like to cooperate with Pakistan in whatever manner we can. It is the cooperation of a general nature, the overall interest for both of us is to fight terror.”

“It is for Pakistan to recognise that violence or the threat to use violence cannot coexist with a meaningful dialogue process. In the end, no amount of external pressure or inducement can substitute for that determination which Pakistan, its government and people must make,” he said.

The Indian foreign minister also rejected Nepal’s maoist leader and former premier Prachanda’s accusations that India was interfering in Nepal’s internal matters.

“India has always believed in non-interference in any other country, we believe we have to have mutual respect and trust and that’s my message to our neighbours, trust us and let’s do business with each other.”

Krishna also disclosed that the special representatives of India and China would resume discussion for a consensus on an “agreed framework” for boundary settlement, “now that our government has taken office”.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20095\30\story_30-5-2009_pg7_41

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28 Comments

Filed under India, Pakistan

28 responses to “Take our hand of friendship, India tells Pakistan

  1. yes, yes , lets do it and more. The Algorithm:
    1. You keep Pok and we keep IHK.
    2. pakistan should stop supporting taliban and help India in rebuilding the land of pathans (and the rest of afghania)
    3.India should stop interfering in balochistan and invest in gwadar port.
    4. We should auction our nukes at Christie’s and use the money to feed our marasmic children( but what about china’s nuke , one might say???)
    5. We hug…..
    6. APPLAUSE.

  2. bonobashi

    O teri aisi ki taisi.

    Gorki-ji, Sir-ji, if you don’t mind an occasional omelette of a metaphor, I have this nightmare vision of you sweeping by with an entourage of crazed fanboys gambolling in your wake.

    In much trepidation.

  3. yasserlatifhamdani

    … Bypassing the politics … I take your hand of friendship gladly. Pakistan and India have to work together for this common subcontinent of ours….

  4. Champa Kali

    Baandar Sahab (i.e Hanumaan): I agree with your points 3-5 though. But to achieve that first India should stop building dams on our waters otherwise that will be the cause of next war. On one hand you seek friendship and other hand you are trying to convert Pakistan into a desert. India should refrain from its kaale kartoot otherwise we will have to nuke you.

    vaise, fitte moon tada. dil karta hai teda moon hi toor do ghatia shakhs. Kutte kameene! 😛

  5. hayyer48

    Is Hanuman Singh a reincarnation of HS?
    This waters business is the result of propaganda. The dams coming up on the Chenab and Jhelum are entirely in agreement with the Indus Waters Treaty.
    However there was a minor lapse. They began filling up the Baglihar lake faster than allowed, because there was Prime Ministerial inauguration planned. This may have led to a one week water shortage in Pakistan.
    I can assure Pakistanis that there is no danger of Pakistan becoming a desert because of dams on the two rivers. And PTH may like to sponsor a separate article on the subject. If it is done I will try to get my friends in the know to give facts to justify the Indian position.

  6. Gorki

    @ Bonobashi: OH-MY-DEAR-GAWD; what have we started; I might yet live to regret it. ;-).

    @ Hanuman Singh, YLH, Champa Kali:
    Amidst jokes and insults (btw Champa Kali, that was something!! take it easy will you? I am not sure what provoked that vigorous outburst of yours) I think all of you brought out some good points.

    YLH, I want to grasp our outstretched hand with both of mine. ;-). (however befriending and keeping up with a Rutgers educated lawyer may be a chore in itself; one has to learn difficult words such as ‘consociationalist’ 😉 )

    You make an excellent point that it is essential that South Asians start looking beyond narrow nationalism, a leftover legacy of the Independence struggle. To expand the point I suggest we should perhaps move beyond a model where group rights were the focus (e.g. minorities versus majorities) and start looking to safeguard fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals.

    For example, each nation should individually reassess its constitution in terms of the covenant of the state versus the individual. The goal of this should be to first make the entire South Asia a place where all individuals have a near uniform constitutional guarantee of social and political justice; of human rights and the freedom of speech and of worship. In such a context, regardless of whether one lives in Delhi, Dacca, Peshawar or in Kashmir, the individual would have almost identical constitutional protection in the above mentioned areas.
    I suspect once this happens in practice, the emotional territorial issues and the questions of sub-nationalism (Kashmiri, Baluchi etc. will not become so much of a lightening rod as it is today.) So HS, in this context it will become very clear that Kashmir neither belongs to ‘them’ or to ‘us’ it belongs to the Kashmiris; who would then hopefully not so much ask for an alignment with one versus the other since under the ideal circumstances life would be the same regardless of whose flag flies on which part of it on the Independence day.

    Insults and taunts apart, Champa Kali brings up an important point; that of the competition for resources. The answer to this lies in what Hanuman Singh has to say; a balance where cooperation trumps competition; India may have the headwaters and some resources but Pakistan has others. It controls the land routes to central Asia and the gulf. In the coming century the central Asian republics are likely to grow in populations and in importance, thus oil pipelines and super highways from there and Iran may one day crisscross Pakistan on their way to India and beyond. The Gwadar port has the potential to become a city to some day rival Dubai and Bombay.

    So how does one get there? YLH has some experience of the lawyers’ movement in Pakistan. Perhaps such a coordinated, peoples movement, spearheaded by professionals on both sides can take shape first for a joint focus on the human rights, the freedom of worship which eventually can lead to a more comprehensive peace and prosperity on the above lines.

    I close the long post by saying that the title above: “Take our hand of friendship, India tells Pakistan” is one of the most heartwarming one I have read in a long time. I hope it is not the last.
    Regards.

  7. Bloody Civilian

    The FM or the headline maker choosing to ‘tell’ pak to take the hand of friendship rather than ‘offering’ it, is a tad unfortunate. the ‘determination of the people of pak’, as demonstrated during the lawyers’ movement, for example, carries on regardless, the FM can be reassured.

  8. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    Bas kar, yaar. Tere jaise Angrezi nahin aati hamein. Aur phir bhi yeh bechara Madrasi hai, aap logon ke saath kya muqabla kar sakta hai.

  9. yasserlatifhamdani

    Gorki,

    In a society obsessed with group identity, community and caste – such as South Asian society- any such effort will have to be reinforced with a measure of decentralization … such as the issue of residuary powers… as well as strengthening of local bodies etc as effective democratic bodies… something that Musharraf did but has been dispensed with more or less.

    One of the things I have noticed in the US is strength of their city governments and the key role they play as the intermediary between state and federal governments and the people. This is the most important thing.

  10. Gorki

    “be reinforced with a measure of decentralization … such as the issue of residuary powers… as well as strengthening of local bodies etc as effective democratic bodies…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Absolutely.

    Also coupled with a very strong, independent and dare I say, (at least temporarily) a proactive judiciary.
    (I again draw inspiration from the role of judiciary in the United States in the civil rights era).
    This is where US trained, public spirited Indian and Pakistani lawyers come in. ;-).

  11. Bloody Civilian

    bonobashi

    as an ex-pak cricketer, a fellow lahori, like me trying his luck with english, said: “if he ask like friend, what goes of his father?”

    i see your point.

  12. PMA

    yasserlatifhamdani: “……for this common subcontinent of ours….”

    There lies the problem. Unless Pakistanis themselves start thinking beyond the ‘Sub-continental concept’ there will be problems with the ‘concept of Pakistan’. Culturally and geographically the Indian Sub-continent, at its Northwest extremes, stops at Abaseen whereas geographic Pakistan goes on much beyond that. Pakistan straddles along both sides of the mighty Indus; the spine of the country. It sits at the crossroads of South Asia, Central Asia and Persia, all at the same time. In order to take along its non-subcontinental western half, including Balochistan, Pakistanis must think beyond the subcontinent. That is not to say that they should relinquish claims on their part of the subcontinent. It is simply to say that since half of the country lies outside the subcontinent, all Pakistanis, particularly those from the eastern half need to develop a Pakistani mindset outside the Indian matrix.

  13. PMA

    Bloody Civilian: “…..trying his luck with english”.

    Must you remind us lesser beings of our shortcomings?

  14. Champa kali, you rock!!

  15. (however befriending and keeping up with a Rutgers educated lawyer may be a chore in itself////////////////////GORKI), gorki, rutgers is neither Oxbridge nor Harvard.

  16. PMA

    Faraz, the eminent Urdu poet from Peshawar, Pakistan says:

    “Hota Nahin Her Hath Milane Wala”

    Talk is cheap and Act is what counts. The two new countries of Pakistan & India came into being sixty years ago. Unfortunately there is nothing in the last six decades that hints any act of friendship between the two. Those who suggest that dams placed by India on all five rivers of Punjab do not restrict free flow of waters to Pakistan take others as fools. Stealing river water, the life line of Pakistan, is nothing for those who stole Kashmir. Many have suggested that the next round of wars world wide will be over water. Starved of its lifeline nations will have no choice but to go to war over water. Those desirous of handshake better count their fingers first.

  17. PMA

    Faraz, the eminent Urdu poet from Peshawar, Pakistan says:

    “Dost Hota Nahin Her Hath Milane Wala”

    Talk is cheap and Act is what counts. The two new countries of Pakistan & India came into being sixty years ago. Unfortunately there is nothing in the last six decades that hints any act of friendship between the two. Those who suggest that dams placed by India on all five rivers of Punjab do not restrict free flow of waters to Pakistan take others as fools. Stealing river water, the life line of Pakistan, is nothing for those who stole Kashmir. Many have suggested that the next round of wars world wide will be over water. Starved of its lifeline nations will have no choice but to go to war over water. Those desirous of handshake better count their fingers first.

  18. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    LOL.

    OK, OK, but unless you are to submit to my vile Hindustani, there is no option but to trust yourself to our tried out luck in English.

    He’s normally a well-spoken – indeed, nicely-spoken and very straightforward man, and this betise floors me. Perhaps a little practice in front of a mirror?…..

    I am glad that your exams have left no visible scars on you.

  19. Gorki

    @ PMA: Given the last 60 years of our history your cynicsm is understandable.

    However how else are we going to progress if not by getting along? And how else can we get along if not by at least one of us extent the hand of friendship and the other accept the extended hand?

    I agree talk is cheap, but talking is the first step to remove misunderstandings. What we may feel to be the absolute right position may not be so from another POV. For example, you mentioned Kashmir ‘stolen’ by India; yet a recent article posted on PTH from a Kashmiri POV clearly rejects that claim and insists that Kashmir should in fact belong only to the Kashmiris!

    You mention the water issues. This is indeed a complex issue; even inside India water has lead to inter-state disputes.
    However, these states don’t go to war with each other.

    Like I mentioned before, if only we get outside the zero sum game mindset a lot of solutions can come about. You rightly mentioned Pakistan’s strategic location in Asia. Once this is exploited then Pakistan can offer India an access to central Asia in return for settling the war issues amiably.

    You write very well and obviously understand the issues better than an average Indian or a Pakistani. Thus it is all the more important that you at least first see the logic in promoting the cooperation among our peoples and then perhaps even help promote it.

    Incidently one of the best poems I recently read was by Faraz on the Pakistaniat blog that ended in a plea to the Indians to shake hands with him saying something like this:

    ‘if it is a question of your ego, let me extend my hand for friendship first’.
    (I will try to find it and post its translation later)

    It truely brought out the greatness of that man and brought a lump to my own throat when I read it.

    Regards.

  20. Gorki

    PMA: Please pardon the potentially fatal error; accept the corrected version with apologies for sloppy typing;-) :

    “Once this is exploited then Pakistan can offer India an access to central Asia in return for settling the water issues amiably.

  21. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    Just to point out an amusing circumstance, within a set of postings that threatens stormy weather ahead.

    It is not Krishna’s words that caused your hackles to rise, it was the coinage of the headline writer, if you observe carefully. From the words of Krishna that have been quoted, it is not at all certain that the imperative was used by him; it looks as if the headline writer did it.

    In an overheated atmosphere, these small things have a disproportionate influence.

  22. hayyer48

    PMA: I would welcome some education on the subject of the river waters. Stolen, you say-How?
    We can begin with 1947 of-course, but better with the Indus Waters Treaty signed in 1960 by Nehru and Ayub Khan under World Bank auspices. My own memory of the history is somewhat dim now but I should be happy to refresh it.
    As for stealing Kashmir I can appreciate your sentiment, but it is a long story and you should research it up. It wasn’t stealth so much as a give away.

  23. hayyer48

    But to revert to my first comment. Is Hanuman Singh actually a reincarnation of Hindu Sikh?

  24. Someone here at PTH has used the term(I think Shahreyar Azhar) of Joint Venture state about India and Pakistan…..
    Dialogue is the only way to ressolve the disputes and first of all “Stop the blame game”
    India’s continous pressure after 26/11 attacks is understandable but they shoud realize that we are facing insurgency inside and are engaged with the same elements in a War,in which everyday we are bringing back dead bodies of our martyred Jawans and innocent civilans to their homes…..We feel the pain and agony and need words of support not demands of DO MORE from whether India, China or anyone else…..

  25. Gorki

    Below is a part of the poem I had mentioned (simply pasting the URL did not feel like doing it justice) in my previous post. I can’t take any credit for it (only the pleasure of reading it) since it is copied from the Pakistaniat blog where it was posted by and perhaps also translated by Babar under an Independence day greeting for India on Aug 15th 2007.

    To Indian Friends
    Many seasons have passed , many climes changed
    You too are sad, friends, as we also are
    You, alone , are not saddened by your rags
    The truth is that we are in tatters , too!
    Your house lights are not quite radiant
    The stars of my skies are also palsied pale
    Your glass bars are rusty
    While my goblets are dusty !

    The tragedy is that the breeze of bitterness
    And stink of conflict
    Comes from the gardens on either side
    The irony is that both sides suspect
    Spring has come only after bathing in the enemy’s blood!
    Such is the situation of such brutality that now
    Neither are your feet intact nor my hands
    Victory is not yours
    Nor defeat is mine
    No one stands by you
    Nor have I anyone with me!
    The helpless, voiceless people of our towns
    Are buried in thousands of mounds of sorrow
    Nor their bleak – fatedness seeks the glow of lamps
    People who for half a century
    Have lived in dense darkness !
    Such lamps as spread the light of love
    Lamps which enlighten the heart’s sanctuaries
    Lamps that grant the glow of peace
    Lamps which in turn light countless more lamps!
    Friends ! I ‘ve come to your country this time
    Neither for musical company nor poetry
    If it is a question of your ego
    I extend my hand in friendship , first !

    Ahmed Faraz

  26. karun

    friendship is a game between equals…

    when one perceives the balance of power shifting, one will rarely indulge in the burden of friendship

  27. Bloody Civilian

    bonobashi

    though, regrettably, lacking in both grace and caution, atleast i did say “The FM or the headline maker…”.

  28. PMA

    There is no such thing as “friendship” between nations. Nations have interests and relationships between each other, both good and bad, but not friendships. In case of Pakistan and India there is a relationship between the two–a bad relationship. But it does not have to be that way. India being the most dominant power in the South Asia has the ability to convert this bad relationship into a good relationship. She could start the process today if she chooses. The opportunity list is rather long. But in order to do so she has to take concrete steps on the ground, not just world media point scoring.