Hyderabad, July 24 Noting that under the NDA government the country has moved towards a "pragmatic" foreign policy from earlier "romanticism", BJP general secretary Ram Madhav today said the Centre would talk to Pakistan, but on "our terms".
"Today we are very pragmatic in our foreign policy... We know how to deal with our neighbours. America advises us that dialogue is the only option. We will hold dialogue when required... Our Prime Minister is not a 'mauni swami'. But we will talk on our terms," Madhav said, delivering a talk on 'Look East, Act East, What Next?', organised by NGO Awareness in Action here.
"We converted the 1971 war victory into a diplomatic defeat through the 1973 Shimla agreement. This was a classic case of romanticism taking over pragmatism. Over 90,000 Pakistani PoWs (Prisoners of war)... You had a wonderful opportunity to free PoK from Pakistan. But we agreed to release all of them without getting anything in return. We are paying the price for it even 40 years after that in J&K."
"Today, the Prime Minister of Pakistan says he is dreaming for the day when Kashmir in India is united with Kashmir in Pakistan... Our Foreign Minister will answer him and that's all. This is called pragmatism," he said.
"We have to talk with Pakistan... We will talk. I am not saying we should not talk. We will talk on our terms," he said.
Countries need a strategic culture, he said, "Unfortunately in our country strategic culture was not developed. On strategic issues...whether it is our relationship with Pakistan or with China or with another country, our whole thinking is more romantic or idealistic."