Normalisation of ties with Pakistan not easy: Rao
Washington: India has made "sincere efforts"
to reduce trust deficit with Pakistan with which it has a
history of complicated relationship, a top Indian diplomat has
said, as she expressed concern over "difficult terrain" ahead.
"We are engaged in a very conscious effort, a sincere and
honest effort to try and see how we can reduce the trust
deficit in our relationship with Pakistan in order to see how
we can move towards coherent process normalisation.
“This is not going to be easy," Indian Ambassador to the
US, Nirupama Rao, said. "There is a lot of difficult terrain
ahead. We recognise that. We are realist about it," she said
in response to a question.
With Pakistan, its immediate neighbour, India has had a
difficult, complicated and very fractious relationship for
over six decades now, she said.
But she argued there is need for trade and business ties
to grow and the travel between the two countries to be
facilitated in a smoother way.
"In the region of Jammu and Kashmir we have consciously
worked on putting in place confidence building measures that
enable trade across the line of control, better transportation
facilities so that people can connect more easily," Rao said.
"But fundamentally, I think we have sought to stress and
emphasise Pakistan that there is need for them to act on the
issue of terror. It threatens to destroy the fabric of life in
themselves today. I think they realise that very well."
The ambassador said the threat of terrorism is compounded
given the possibility of intersection between terrorism and
the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
"We have been affected by clandestine nuclear
proliferation in our neighborhood," she said.
"Today, India is constructively engaged in international
efforts to enhance nuclear security. In the long term such
threats can be met by universal and non-discriminatory
disarmament - a cause that India has championed for many
years," she said.
India, as the US sees it, has stood as an anchor of
stability in this region, she said.
Rao was delivering a keynote address at the Seminar
"India as a Global Power: Contending Views from India" jointly
organised by the Centre for a New American Security, in
partnership with The George Washington University's Rising
India basically wants to turn the geography in sub-
continent into geography of hope. "We want to be able to
integrate economically, allow benefits of our development and
the accelerated development that we have been seeing in India
to benefit our neighbours also. That's the approach that we
have taken," Rao said.