New Delhi, Jan 18: Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir was sophisticatedly mocking and threatening on the electronic media on Thursday night and tried to portray his country as a victim of Indian rhetoric.
In a television interview, Bashir smiled mockingly as he alluded to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's comment that there "cannot be business as usual" with Pakistan. He arrogantly remarked that "upping the rhetoric" was "detrimental to normal business." In diplomatic circles, this kind of response is taken as a breach of protocol. An envoy is way below the prime minister of a country in any commonsensical hierarchy and even for India with 'chalta hai' attitude this should an unacceptable conduct.
The envoy should stick to certain decorum, especially during national outrage over soldiers killing and mutilation. But Bashir calls Indian anger as 'fashionable bashing' and insists like an errant child that Pakistan has not done anything wrong.
Bashir also threateningly reminded that the Pakistan was a nuclear arms nation. He said there should be mature reactions in the matter with countries having certain 'kind of arsenal'.
He says that instead of indulging in "Pakistan bashing", New Delhi could have approached Islamabad to get to the bottom of what happened instead of "stirring raw emotions and upping the rhetoric". Bashir forgets that the army had a meeting with Pakistani counterparts and Bahsir himself was called to the external affairs ministry in New Delhi and given an earful. After all this failed to wake up the neighbour, India spoke in a rough tone and that has rattled the Pakistan.
Bashir denied that Pakistani troops were behind the killing of the soldiers on the Indian side of the LoC dividing Kashmir. It is an envoy's job to defend their country but Bashir taking a moral stand on the issue when the world knows its terrorist sponsorship is amusing, to put it mildly. He said, "such heinous acts ... are of course condemnable irrespective of where they happen and when they happen. But to say that these were done by Pakistan, that the Pakistan Army was responsible, is something that we cannot agree to."
And that Pakistan is also a victim comes out clearly in his next remark. Talking about the beheading of Indian soldiers, the Pakistan High Commissioner said, "day this (beheading of Indian soldier) was reported, we lost over 100 people in bombings in Quetta...we are not indifferent to this."
His reiteration of an offer made on Wednesday by Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to her Indian counterpart for talks to ratchet down the tension is yet to be taken seriously by India. The talks may not happen at the ministerial level at all for now. Prime Minister Singh has made it clear to Pakistan that those who mutilated the bodies of Indian soldiers killed in Pakistani firing last week, beheading one of them, must be brought to book first.
Even External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that the government will not take any decision in haste. "These are things which you should anaylse, reflect on and take a decision. When we take a decision, we will let you know. Let's just take things a step at a time. We have been through difficult moments. The government will take everything into account. The PM has given a clear indication that we will move step by step. Let's see what is necessary to do and say, there's no hurry," he told reporters.
But there is an urgent need to tell the Pakistani envoy that in India national outrage is not a 'fashionable' conduct and do not mock the dead.