Influence of Army in Pakistan`s politics a challenge: Tharoor

Last Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 20:31

Jaipur: The influence of the Army in Pakistan`s domestic politics is a major challenge for India, Union Minister Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said.
"The power the army wields (in Pakistan) is a challenge for us. The civilian government we talk to cannot stick to one position," he said at the Jaipur Literature Festival here.

"As a government, we have to worry whether to react to every individual thing," the Minister of State for HRD said.

Tharoor, who was earlier Minister of State for External Affairs, described Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as one of the leaders most committed towards fostering peace with Pakistan.

"No one has been more committed towards normalising relations with Pakistan than the current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh," Tharoor said.

Tharoor underlined the necessity for sincere efforts from both sides to establish peace, but said that the 26/11 terror attacks have made things difficult between the two countries.

Noting that war cannot be a long-term solution to the problems between India and Pakistan, Tharoor termed peace as an important necessity for boosting bilateral trade ties.

"If our basic security is at peril, then of course war is an option. But the broad vision cannot be that," he said.

"There are several studies to prove the benefits the trading community have if the economic relations between the two countries are normalised," Tharoor said.

The Union minister pointed out that a conflict with India will not be in Paksitan`s interest, considering the internal turmoil it is going through.

"If there is peace with India, Pakistan will be able to focus on other problems," he said.
Union minister also said there is a positive but subtle shift in discourse in Pakistan over relations with India.

"The civil society is becoming stronger and this factor bears watching. In my visits to the country, I have also felt exhaustion across the political establishment in Pakistan over the indefinite hostility," Tharoor said.

A reduction in US aid to Pakistan over its help to terror elements has also led to some decline in influence of military in country`s internal politics, he further noted.

"These factors can lead to some possible conversation points. But no one can predict with accuracy anything about Pakistan and we have smashed our crystal balls on the issue long ago," he said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 20:31

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