‘India needs to engage with Pakistan’
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Jan 21: India needs to intensify its engagement with Pakistan notwithstanding its fragile polity and uncertain interest in peace at this stage because keeping away from it is not a wise choice, Prime Minister's Special Envoy S K Lambah said today.
Delivering the fifth R N Kao Memorial Lecture here, he said India's most critical engagement was with Pakistan by reaching out for dialogue to reduce tensions, resolve outstanding issues and foster friendship.
"There have been periods of crises, but also moments of hope. The sense of cynicism about dialogue with Pakistan is understandable specially when those responsible for Mumbai 26/11 attacks roam freely.
"Pakistan's polity is fragile and its interest in peace at this stage is uncertain. But not engaging a neighbouring with 180 million people, strong antagonism towards India, a growing nuclear weapons arsenal and worsening instability is not a wise choice. We can defend ourselves against hostility but instability in the neighbourhood can have unpredictable consequences," Lambah, PM's special envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, said.
The subject of the lecture, instituted in the memory of legendary intelligence czar Rameshwar Nath Kao, the first chief of external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was 'Securing India's Future Through Its Neighbourhood'.
He said the process of engagement with neighbours should also include those that are experiencing internal instability and turmoil, an apparent reference to Pakistan.
"Engagement does not always assure us of a desired response, nor does it guarantee success. However, rejecting the process of engagement will not enable us to achieve our long-term goals," Lambah said.
He said India should engage all its neighbours, including those with whom it has differences and disputes, but not at the cost of defence preparedness.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 21 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 21 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 22 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST
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PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Jan 21: India needs to intensify its engagement with Pakistan notwithstanding its fragile polity and uncertain interest in peace at this stage because keeping away from it is not a wise choice More