Another high-level India, Pakistan talks nonsense unless the infrastructure of terror is dismantled: Haqqani
WASHINGTON: Supporting India's determination that talks and terror can not go hand in hand, a former Pakistan diplomat said another high-level meeting between the two countries would be unsuccessful unless Islamabad guarantees that the terrorist infrastructure in its territory is dismantled.
Pakistan's recent initiatives to talk with India must be seen in the context of economic and international pressures on India, the former Pakistani ambassador to the United States told reporters.
His comments came before the Summit in Kyrgyzstan from June 13 to 14. India and Pakistan are part of the regional security group and the leaders of both countries will attend the meeting in.
In a letter written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi Last week, Pakistan's prime minister. Imran Khan had requested the resumption of talks between the two countries to resolve all differences.
But no meeting between them has been planned on the sidelines of the summit.
Haqqani's comments also came a day when the Islamabad government presented its national budget amidst an austerity campaign to get the country out of the financial disaster it is in.
Earlier this month at the Eid festival, Khan said there will not be an increase in the defense budget due to our critical financial situation. The defense budget presented on Tuesday reflected that sentiment without a proposed increase in expenditures compared to the last fiscal year.
Weeks ago, the Khan government negotiated a 6-billion-dollar rescue package with the International Monetary Fund to overcome financial problems.
Haqqani said another high-level meeting between India and Pakistan would not make sense unless accompanied by the dismantling of terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan and renounce the idea that the two countries are permanent enemies.
Between 1950 and December 2015, when Modi visited Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore The leaders of the two countries have met 45 times, he said, but the talks never led to a lasting peace.
The door to negotiations should never be considered permanently closed, but neither should dialogue be an end in itself, he reiterated.
Haqqani, now director of South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute, is considered an inflexible critic of the Pakistani establishment and of the jihadist ideology. He has often expressed disagreements with the establishment during public discussions.
In an article published recently, he wrote that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is right to have that talks for talks sake are meaningless as long as Pakistan refuses to change its view of its larger neighbor as a permanent enemy.
In Haqqani's view, hostility towards India comes from Pakistan's national ideology based on religious identity and antipathy cultivated by the military that dominates the country.
Like many other countries, India and Pakistan have unresolved disputes, he said, but other countries do not have national ideologies that revolve around opposition to others.
Pakistan tends to enter into talks with India for global respectability, but its dominant army can not get rid of its ideological aversion to normal ties with India, he said.
The former diplomat quoted the Pakistani army and said it was not raised in proportion to an external threat.
He needs a threat proportional to his size to justify his claims about the meager resources of a low-income country, he said, adding that Pakistan inherited a third of India's British army, which had originally been recruited for World War II.