Normalcy in India- Pakistan relations unlikely, fears former Foreign Secretary V.K.Sibal

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Amritsar, Oct. 22 (ANI): India-Pakistan relations are exceedingly complex, and normal tools of diplomacy are not adequate to resolve the multi-faceted problems that face them, according to V. K. Sibal, former Foreign Secretary of the country.

Sibal was interacting with students after delivering a lecture at Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) on "Indo-Pak relations".

Sibal said that wounds of partition will fester for a long time, even though India wants amicable relations with Pakistan. India even agreed to the proposition that both countries were "victims of terrorism", even in the wake of attacks in Mumbai.

But Pakistan continues brinkmanship, as is evident in its dealings with United States. He said: "Ironically, Pakistan is being armed today by the United States and China."

The former foreign secretary pointed out that China continued its policy of building up Pakistan against India. It has offered two additional nuclear power plants in violation of its own Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) obligations.

China also seeks to have an access to the Arabian Sea through Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Pakistan.

He said: "We have even ceased to assert our legal claim on Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) in the interest of a peaceful resolution of our differences." The thrust of India's polices is to settle the Kashmir issue on the basis of the Line of Control (LOC).

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has stated clearly that while actual borders cannot be changed, they can be made irrelevant, which is a clear signal to Pakistan that India accepts the de facto position on the ground and wants to move forward and have amicable relations.

Sibal, however, expressed doubts about normalization of ties with Pakistan. He concluded: "India is compelled by geography to bear the cross of Pakistan on its back and it should not end up being crucified." By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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