NEW DELHI - India and Pakistan cannot be friends, said minister of state (MoS) for external affairs Gen (retd) VK Singh in Dehradun on Friday.
Despite the fact that both nations share commonalities, “some sections” keep the tension boiling, said Singh.
“You have seen Pakistan artistes coming here and our artistes going there. But we cannot be friends. It is a deliberate policy of keeping the pot boiling by some sections,” he said at the Military History Seminar at Welham Boys’ School. “Primarily, it suits Pakistan military to keep the pot boiling. Because on that depends their existence, on that depends their prestige and on that depends their control,” he added.
Singh said he is “hopeful of a suitable environment” in Kashmir, which is battling with territorial conflict between the nations. Discussing the situation in Kashmir, he said such situation requires various options to be exercised, which should have political inputs, agreement of people, ensuring legitimate moves and keeping the environment free from usurpers and terrorists.
“The entire gambit of nation comes into play when you have to solve a problem. The way things are going, we will have suitable atmosphere in Kashmir,” he added.
Talking about the problems faced by the armed forces due to bureaucratic interventions, he said, “Our problem comes up over a period of time when somebody wants a plump appointment.” “Armed Forces have their own ethos, way of working and hierarchy and if they maintain their own dignity and professional competence then nobody can question them. Post Independence, the bureaucracy feel they have become superior and are ears of political masters.
The senior leadership of the army has to take stand no matter the belief is that armed forces are apolitical. The issue between the two would, however, remain,” he said.
He mentioned how India is sharing harmonious relations with China when it comes to trade. With the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chinese government has now gone soft, he added.
Talking about Barahoti area in Chamoli district where Chinese incursion was reported on the border a few months ago, he said that the area is disputed since long. When asked which country is a potential threat to India - Pakistan or China? he replied, “Any country that threatens us is a threat.” At present, the situation is under control, he added.