Islamabad : India is isolating itself globally on Pakistan by insisting that Islamabad first eliminate its terror infrastructure before peace talks can resume, an editorial in a leading English daily said Saturday in reference to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remarks on the issue.
“India should realise that it is isolating itself globally by putting the condition of removing terrorism on Pakistan before it begins talking,” Daily Times said in an editorial headlined “Mr. Singh’s hidden ‘precondition’.”
Manmohan Singh “says there is ‘no precondition’ for talks with Pakistan except that Pakistan should bring its terrorists under ‘effective control’. How else does one impose a precondition?” the editorial asked.
Manmohan Singh, concluding a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, said Thursday that curbing terrorism by Pakistan was not a precondition but “a practical way” to create an atmosphere conducive for peace talks.
India, the editorial said, “needs to come out of its posture of ‘policy nirvana’ and take a careful look at where South Asia stands today with two SAARC members – Afghanistan and Pakistan – in dire straits. This is the time to talk and change the old postures that have perpetuated conflict in the region”.
Holding that India was “in many ways crucial to Pakistan’s efforts at stamping out the disease of terrorism it has contracted”, the editorial added that this country “is threatened from within as never before in its history but because of India’s obstinacy is forced to designate India as the bigger enemy than the Taliban and the Al Qaeda.
“In fact, the strategy is to accuse India of funding rebellions inside Pakistan and thus explain the ongoing bilateral tension. It is only after ‘normalising’ relations with India that it can free up enough troops from its eastern border to fight the terrorists,” Daily Times maintained.
It also noted that “domestic political compulsions” had deterred Manmohan Singh from “reaping the moral advantage he had over Pakistan after the Mumbai attacks”.
“He was not overly enthusiastic about Pakistan at Sharm el-Sheikh but was pilloried when he returned home. Pakistan was flexible before Sharm el-Sheikh but afterwards bent to domestic compulsions and Prime Minister (Yusuf Raza) Gilani began putting Kashmir on the front-burner,” the editorial said.