Engaging Pakistan is necessary: Lambah

Speaking in New Delhi, Satinder Kumar Lambah, Special Envoy in PMO, said not engaging a neighbour like Pakistan with 180 million people, a growing nuclear weapons arsenal and worsening instability was not wise.

Dinesh Sharma

New Delhi: Speaking in New Delhi, Satinder Kumar Lambah, Special Envoy in Prime Minister`s office, said not engaging a neighbour like Pakistan with 180 million people, strong antagonism towards India, a growing nuclear weapons arsenal and worsening instability was not wise.

Lambah said this on Friday at the fifth R N Kao Memorial lecture instituted in the memory of the founder of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
"We can defend ourselves against hostility, but instability in the neighbouhood can have unpredictable consequences,” added Lambah.

The Special Envoy in PMO said that India has reached out to Pakistan for dialogue time and again to reduce tensions, resolve outstanding issues, for fostering friendship and to build cooperation. He said there have been periods of crisis, but also moments of hope.

Lambah suggested some measures to secure India`s future through engagiong neighbourhood.

Talking about the initiatives taken by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in improving relations with Pakistan, Lambah reiterated that a lot of progress has been made and the ball is now in Pakistan`s court. The PMO envoy even went to the extent of saying that India is willing to pick up the threads.

Lambah made it clear that cynicism about dialogue with Pakistan was understandable especially when those responsible for 26/11 blasts are roaming freely.

According to Lambah, it was imperative to engage neighbours like Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives by providing them whatever assistance they needed including economic aid.
Defence cooperation with our neighbours should also include training, capacity building and whenever required equipment supply to defence forces of friendly countries.

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