India-Pakistan talks can never succeed, says former NSA Brajesh Mishra

     Stating that India-Pakistan talks could never succeed as long as the armed forces were the rulers in Pakistan, the former National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra on Wednesday said that there was a grave danger to the national security because of unmitigated hostility of Pak and China. Speaking at the two-day ORF-Heritage Foundation Dialogue on "Countering Terrorism in South Asia", the former NSA Brajesh Mishra referred to the recent talks between the Indian-Pakistan Foreign Ministers and said: "This talk has also failed. And it would continue to fail, as in the past, as we have not yet grasped the reality that Pakistan army will never allow peaceful relations with India." "Pakistan Army's hostility towards India is not because of Bangladesh (factor), Kashmir or Siachen. Their very existence depends upon hostility towards India. Unless we grasp that, we would never able to deal with Pakistan," said Mishra. He remarked that despite the Naga insurgency problem, also supported from outside, after the Independence and three decades of sponsored terrorism from Pakistan, the Indian governments paid very little attention to national security and our military strength. "India has never been able to get Pakistan Army to stop it (terrorism). We must seriously consider reasons for it", said Mishra while adding: "if it is one country, you have certain means to act against that country. But we have not done that." "How long are we going to say that Pakistan is also a victim of terrorism and therefore we are going to work together, when terrorist activities are directed against you?," said Mishra. "Pakistan, which has been dependent on the US and western countries for its survival, have cheated them. And if we think, we can have friendship and cooperation with Pakistan, as long as the armed forces are the rulers there, I think, we are living in a fool's paradise," Mishra said. Pointing out that the Bush Administration had given more than 12 billion dollars assistance and the present administration is giving five to six billion dollars to Pakistan to fight war on terror, Mishra asked the Americans after all what had they got in return for its assistance in nine years. He said the Agra Summit between Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pervez Musharraf failed because the Pakistani President wanted primacy to Kashmir talks and avoiding terrorism from across the border in the joint statement. Cautioning that terrorism is going to increase in the coming years because of "unmitigated hostility of Pakistan and China towards India", Mishra requested the Indian policy makers to give equal importance to defence capability as to economic growth. Mishra drew everyone's attention to the development that for the first time, China has now come out openly on Pakistan's position on Kashmir as showed by instances like issuance of visa on separate papers, various projects on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and the nuclear assistance to Pakistan. And, the situation in Afghanistan is also worsening. "If Taliban succeeds in going back to Kabul, as happened in 96, we are going to have a tremendous problem of fundamentalism and extremism in South Asia, Central Asia and other parts of the world," Mishra warned and said: "In such a situation, terrorism is going to increase as the situation in Afghanistan returns to what was in mid 90s. Then, what is the answer?" He said India having nine borders with people who are inciting and abetting terrorism, the government is going to have a tough task to secure its borders. "We can no longer ignore the grave danger to the national security and territorial integrity, including Kashmir," Mishra warned.

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