HYDERABAD DECCAN - Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir Sunday described as baseless Indian media reports on infiltrations and called for the two neighbours to address their respective concerns through dialogue instead of whipping up frenzy.
He called for leaving the issue to be addressed by the military authorities rather than pointing fingers. He also found fault with the way the Indian media, especially news channels, was focusing on “so-called incursions and infiltrations”.
Talking to reporters here, he maintained that Pakistan wanted peace on the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir and was ready for dialogue on all difficult issues to resolve them amicably.
He stressed the need for a broad-ranging engagement through talks to build confidence, saying “you address our concerns and we will address yours”. Bashir pointed out that at the recent meeting between the prime ministers of the two countries in New York, it was decided that director generals and military operations (DGMOs) would be asked to give suggestions to ensure respect for ceasefire.
Criticising Indian television channels, he said some of them were making good business out of, what he called, negative reporting about Pakistan. He commented that bashing Pakistan was a favourite pastime of these channels.
“Friendship can flourish only if it is nurtured and cultivated in hearts and minds, but by poisoning the hearts and minds of people, you are killing the very soil on which it is to be based,” he said. “In the last few days, the Indian media has been focusing on Karen sector. You have concerns and we also have concerns. Let us sit together and address them, which is a civilised way of dealing with this instead of whipping up frenzy. It does no good to anybody,” he said, answering queries about the alleged involvement of the Pakistani army in ceasefire violations. “But if we are going to talk about infiltrations and incursions, then we must also talk about something which is very important and which needs objective reflection in Pakistan, in this country and elsewhere,” he said and asked who was funding the terrorists targeting civilians, the Pakistani Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence. “We have evidence which we have shared and we are prepared to share with the rest of the world, particularly with India, about acts of terrorism in Pakistan. I say this not to make a propaganda point,” he said. “If you want, I can vitiate atmosphere by spelling out those concerns, but I don’t want finger pointing. Let us address each other’s concerns; that is the way forward and that is the logical, rational and civilised way. Let us not do this through media,” Bashir added.
“Whoever is making the argument that infiltrators have not descended from the heaven, I want to ask who these thousands of people involved in heinous acts of terrorism in Pakistan are. Have they descended from the heaven? We agree they have not descended from the heaven. From where are they being funded and sourced?” he asked. “Unfortunately, in this country you don’t see this. What you see is propaganda against Pakistan which serves no good. It is detrimental. We will deal with this issue in Pakistan. This issue is not local to Pakistan, it is global and for us it is also regional,” he added. Bashir called for restoring the dialogue process. “We should resolve whatever incident happens, we will not deviate and will continue to tread this path,” he said.
“There are forces which are inimical to good relations. If you terminate or a put pause in the dialogue you are playing into hands of those very elements,” he said and questioned why some terror attack happen whenever the two countries make efforts to improve ties. He said Pakistan more than any other country suffered due to terrorism, noting his country lost 50,000 civilians to terrorism while about 10,000 armed forces died in the war on terror.
He reiterated Pakistan respected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and denied that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called him a “dehati aurat (rural woman)”.