Pakistan says India using terror as `propaganda tool`

Pakistan accused India of using terrorism as a "propaganda tool" against it.

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2010, 23:16 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan on Saturday accused India
of using terrorism as a "propaganda tool" against it, and said
tensions between the two countries would continue till just
solutions are found to long-standing disputes like the "core
issue" of Kashmir.

"I must with regret say that India is using terrorism
as a propaganda tool against Pakistan and there is a long
history to this.

"This is a strategic plank they have used against
Pakistan," Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said.

The two countries have long-standing issues, including
core issue of Kashmir, and "tensions will continue in some
form or the other till there is a just solution" to these
problems, Bashir said in an interview to a News channel.

Bashir made the remarks while responding to questions
on Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao`s silence on the Mumbai terror
attacks during his recent visit to India and Pakistan`s
expectations about the role that China could play in easing
tensions with India.

Pakistan had condemned the Mumbai incident and
"cooperated totally" with India in the probe into the
terrorist assault, he said.

"There is no need to make this issue a propaganda
tool. If Indian media is raising this, the Indian leadership
should make the people aware of the reality," he said.

"Terrorism is not a localised disease, it is a big
global issue. There is no other example around the world of a
country prosecuting the anti-terror campaign as effectively as
Pakistan," Bashir added.

Contending that there was widespread concern about
human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, Bashir said: "We
want the composite dialogue process and the full peace process
to be resumed".

"This has not been possible for different reasons. We
hope that bilateral process of composite dialogue is resumed
(because it) is necessary".

India had suspended the composite dialogue process in
the wake of the Mumbai terror attack and Pakistan has been
insisting that it be resumed.

Bashir further contended that a "wrong impression" has
been created that "India is in a different league" in terms of
its "nuclear programmes or exemptions given to India", whereas
Pakistan is "being linked to the Afghanistan problem".

He said, "It`s quite clear that this impression is
false. Pakistan, India and other countries in South Asia and
the region`s population of over one billion people cannot be
geographically separated," he added.

"If we want development, peace and cooperation in the
region, it is imperative that Pakistan and India, which are
important countries, should understand their responsibilities
and resolve their problems on the basis of equality and mutual
respect," Bashir said.

Both countries are "nuclear powers and no one can deny
the issue of strategic stability in South Asia is vital", he
noted.

Pakistan feels it will be "a good thing" if its
friends like China can help in this process, he added.

He also said, "China is a global power but it has a
special awareness that peace and security in Asia is very
necessary. China understands India and Pakistan are important
for peace and security in the region".

At the same time, Bashir said Pakistan has "no
objections" if India is seen as a major power in Asia and
outside the region".

"We want the progress and prosperity of India but at
same time, we want just solutions (to problems) and durable
peace in the region," he said.

PTI