India on 13 October rebuked Pakistan for “lecturing” it on pluralism after Islamabad stated that non-practice of terrorism was central to the betterment of the Indo-Pak relationship. He added that attempts to disrupt functions of its prominent personalities was its major concern.
“India doesn’t need to take a lecture from Pakistan, as if that country is an avatar of tolerance and pluralism. If India has a shortcoming, it is capable of looking after it,” said top official sources.
The Indian reaction came after the Pakistan Foreign Office said it “noted with concern attempts to disrupt events held in respect of prominent Pakistani personalities visiting India”. He also referred to cancellation of a cultural event by ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali and efforts to disrupt a function in Mumbai held for its former foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri.
“There is a need to ensure that such incidents don’t reoccur,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said. However, sources said India still remains interested in NSA-level talks as per Ufa understanding, but made it clear that terrorism cannot be an instrument of statecraft. Most of what has not gone as per Ufa is due to Pakistan’s own murky politics. They are also having some disturbance. There are non-elected players in play. The dynamics of it is both complicated and less transparent.
“One must recognise that terrorism can’t be an instrument of statecraft. Non-practice of terrorism is central to the betterment of relationship between the two countries. One country cannot resort to terrorism as a way of pressurising the other. Is it not asking for too much,” they said.
On Pakistan leaders meeting separatist Hurriyat leaders, sources said if India has an issue in the manner of consultation or discussions or whatever, come what may Hurriyat cannot be projected as a third party to the talks.