India can’t have ‘uninterruptable’ talks with Pak ignoring terror strikes, says Tharoor

Friday, Mar 18, 2016,9:56 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor said India cannot have uninterruptable talks with Pakistan ignoring terror attacks emanating from that country as it amounts to surrendering self-respect at times. We cannot have uninterruptable talks with Pakistan because if the military and ISI do unleash Lashkar-e-Taiba on Mumbai again or on another Indian city, we should interrupt talks. We can’t talk to people when their own nationals uncontrolled by them are blowing up bombs in our country and killing Indians, he said.

Tharoor, who held the Minister of State for External Affairs portfolio in the erstwhile UPA government, said uninterruptable talks do not make sense because then you actually surrender your self-respect by saying we will talk to you even if your people are coming and humiliating us and killing us and harming us. The Congress MP was speaking at a panel discussion at the ‘Penguin Spring Fever’ here.

Former Indian foreign service officer TCA Raghavan, former Pakistani diplomat Husain Haqqani, who joined via video-conferencing, Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen and former Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar were also in the panel. Tharoor went on to say that India was stuck in dialogue with a country that was either unable or unwilling to give it peace.

Referring to the disputed region of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (Pok), he said that India has never realistically claimed the region. Yes, we do maintain a claim to what is called the ‘Azad Kashmir’ and ‘Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’ as we call it, but my own view is that we maintain that claim essentially in order to have something to give up in case of settlements. We are not realistically trying and claiming that back indeed, he said.