Pak's 'obsession' with India main cause for conflict: Haqqani

Pak's 'obsession' with India main cause for conflict: Haqqani

Pak's 'obsession' with India  main cause for conflict: Haqqani

“The cycle of raising hope of a solution each time there is an interaction between India and Pakistan and all the media hype around such meetings need to stop,” Husain Haqqani, academic and former Pakistani diplomat, said during a discussion on his latest book ‘Why can’t we just be friends?’

The interaction between Haqqani and former foreign secretary, Nirupama Rao, was on the turbulent relationship between the two countries.

Haqqani observed that Pakistan’s “pathological obsession” with India was the main reason why the conflict was alive even after nearly seven decades. “Pakistan needs to adopt a rational approach instead of an emotional approach to its issue with India,” he said. Giving examples of other countries which prospered after resolving disputes between them, Haqqani said that a resolution would benefit the trade, transport and welfare of both the countries.

Rao was of the view that people in India resented Pakistan for not taking accountability for terrorist attacks on India. Recalling her interaction with General Pervez Musharraf, she said, “He did not want us to use the word ‘terrorism’ and the entire talk collapsed because of that attitude.”

On combatting terrorism, Haqqani believes that if Pakistan decides to tackle the issue seriously by shutting down training of recruits, the problem can be solved in 10-15 years.
Rao stressed the need for the Indian media to stop the business of conflict-mongering. “The government should become proactive in its communication about ties between the two countries instead of letting the media lead the debate.”

On a question whether he would ever return to Pakistan, Haqqani answered with a joke. “There are many more books which I want to write and I am in a better position to write when I am alive rather than dead.” He added on a serious note that he would only go back if there was room for rationality, because people who are vocal about their views were often assassinated.

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