Former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani said the 69-year-old unresolved relationship between India and Pakistan cannot be resolved by symbolic gestures, instead there has to be a major shift in attitudes of both the countries.
“A relationship, which has not been resolved for last 69 years, it cannot be resolved just by symbolic gestures. Both Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi wanted to have good relations, but it needs a major shift in attitudes and that shift of attitudes have not taken place,” he told PTI in an interview here.
Haqqani said this when asked to assess Modi’s efforts to improve relations between India and Pakistan which was quite promising at the beginning of his tenure than it is now.
He was in Bengaluru for an interaction over his book – India vs Pakistan: Why Can’t We Just Be Friends.
Haqqani also said until and unless terrorism is taken off the table completely, he does not see any Indian leader “who can move forward with normal relations with Pakistan.”
“Similarly,” he further continued “as long as Pakistan does not realise and recognise the weaknesses and the problems that have come up in Pakistan because of past militarism and militancy, we will not see a major change.”
Watch Video: Idea Exchange With Husain Haqqani
Asked whether the Pakistan Prime Minister can deliver on improving India-Pakistan relations even as he is facing corruption charges over Panama papers leak, in Pakistan, Haqqani said: “There is no doubt that PM Nawaz Sharif like President Asif Zardari and former PM Yousaf Raza Gillani wants normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan, but I think the political circumstances in Pakistan are not conducive to strike normalisation, right now”.
“The circumstances in Pakistan are not conducive because extremists like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar are still free and open to operate. I think the normalisation (process) will not be easy between the two countries,” he added.