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India hits back, says don’t need Pakistan lecture on pluralism

NEW DELHI, Oct 13 (DNA): India on Tuesday lashed out at Pakistan for “lecturing” it on pluralism after Islamabad expressed concern over attempts to disrupt functions of its prominent personalities, and asserted that non-practice of terrorism was central to the betterment of the Indo-Pak relationship.“(As if) Pakistan is the embodiment of tolerance, pluralism. India does not need to take a lecture from Pakistan. If India has a shortcoming, it is capable of looking after it,” top official sources said.

The Indian reaction came after Pakistan Foreign Office said it “noted with concern attempts to disrupt functions organised in respect of prominent Pakistani personalities on visit to India” while referring to cancellation of a cultural event by gazal maestro Ghulam Ali and attempts to disrupt a function in Mumbai organised for its former Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri.

“There is a need to ensure that such incidents do not reoccur,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said.

However, the sources said India still remains interested in NSA-level talks as per Ufa understanding but made it clear that terrorism cannot be an instrument of statecraft.

“A lot of what has not gone as per Ufa is because of Pakistan’s domestic politics…. They are also having some disturbance. There are non-elected players in play. The dynamics of it is both complicated and less transparent.

“The issue is that there has to be a recognition that terrorism cannot be an instrument of statecraft and you cannot say it was only Gurudaspur attack, why are you overreacting or an attack on BSF, why are you overreacting.

“It cannot be a routine way. There has to be recognition that non-practice of terrorism is central to the betterment of the relationship. If they are in denial of that (that is an issue). One country cannot resort to terrorism as a way of pressurising the other. It is not asking for too much,” they said.

On Pakistan leaders meeting Kashmiri separatist Hurriyat leaders, the sources said India has an issue if the manner of consultation or discussions or whatever way they interact with the Hurriyat was done in a manner where they are projected as a third party.

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