Brave Words Against Terror from Former Senior Pakistani Diplomat Husain Haqqani

Brilliant, Sane Interview on NDTV

NDTV has just had a great interview with Husain Haqqani, who was Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S. when 9/11 happened.

He comes across as a brilliant leader with a great sense of balance, holding no punches in saying that Pakistan should have been stern in dealing with Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Zaki ur Rehman Lakhwi and Hafiz Muhammad Saeed when there was strong and credible evidence linking them to terrorism, including in the Mumbai explosions.

ambassador-husain-haqqani-reiterates-importance-of-u.s.-pakistan-relationshipHe is at a loss to understand why Pakistan is dragging its feet on terrorists when it was quick to execute a duly elected popular Prime Minister (Bhutto) by expediting the judicial process.

This is the kind of interview we can never get to watch on Times Now which only patronises one-sided screaming.

India Not an Enemy: Mr Haqqani points out that Pakistan must stop telling the country’s kids that India is an enemy. That attitude is vitiating the environment and making locals think that that whatever action is initiated against India is in order.

Pakistan and Pakistanis must acknowledge India as a large neighbour they should be friendly with and not be bogged down by Kashmir, he argues. His reasoning is that while a permanent solution to Kashmir is needed that should not be allowed to impede progress with other issues of import.

Mr Haqqani appreciates the positive steps initiated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards greater friendship and good neighbourliness. He expects greater magnanimity from India in dealing with Pakistan which should also move forward to help create an environment of trust between the two.

He sympathises with Indians who have been victims of terrorism from across the border. At the same time, it must be noted, he points out, that Pakistan has been a bigger victim of  its own terror attacks than India.

Both countries must leave behind old cliches of composite dialogues and Foreign Secretary-level talks and initiate substantive efforts, he suggests.

It has been a long time since I listened to a meaningful debate or interview on Indian television!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Filed under Haqqani, Pakistan Terrorism

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