Ex-diplomats ask government to suspend dialogue with PakistanJanuary 8th, 2009 - 8:45 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) With Pakistan showing no sign of acting against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks, a group of retired diplomats, including four former foreign secretaries, Thursday advised the Indian government to downgrade bilateral ties in the absence of positive action by Islamabad.“The people of India want the government to take decisive action within a clear timeline to put an end to this menace,” said 10 retired diplomats after their meeting at the Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi-based think tank.
Accusing Pakistan of using “terrorism as an instrument of state policy”, the former diplomats said the Nov 26 Mumbai attacks “were carried out by terrorists from Pakistan with the knowledge and support of sections of the Pakistan military and the ISI”.
They also advised the government not to rely too much on the international community and deal with “the threat coming from Pakistan essentially on its own”.
“Past experience shows that pressure from the international community does not go beyond exhortations and platitudes. India will have to deal with the threat coming from Pakistan essentially on its own,” the ORF ambassadors’ forum said in a statement.
They recommended a set of steps to bring pressure on Pakistan to take meaningful action against anti-India terror outfits operating in that country that included suspending bilateral negotiations and dialogue mechanisms with Pakistan and reviewing existing treaties and agreements with it.
Other recommendations included scrapping of state-assisted cultural, sporting and other exchanges; restricting defence procurement from countries/companies, which henceforth contract to supply defence materials to Pakistan; and taking specific economic measures against Pakistan which will make it costly for Islamabad to allow terror activities against India.
“In the absence of positive action by Pakistan, consider reducing/downgrading diplomatic ties with Pakistan,” they said.
Former foreign secretaries M.K. Rasgotra, K. Raghunath, Lalit Mansingh and Kanwal Sibal were among those who signed the statement.
A.N. Ram, Arjun Asrani, Arundhati Ghose, Kuldip Sahdev, Ishrat Aziz and Dilip Lahiri were among former envoys who also attended the meeting.