Pakistan

BANGALORE: In an interview with an Indian publication on Thursday former Pakistan ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani said Mr. Jinnah did not want Pakistan and India to be permanent enemies.

“Immediately after Partition, Jinnah realised two things: one was that minorities had to be protected in Pakistan. The second was peace and prosperity in Pakistan will depend on its long-term relations with India,” the diplomat said in response to a question on whether Jinnah was a pragmatist, who was full of contradictions.

During the interview, the former ambassador backtracked from his earlier claim in which he said then Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief General (retd) Shuja Pasha had admitted the agency’s role in planning the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

Answering a question whether ISI insinuated that the army was involved in the attacks, he said “This has been misread here a lot. I’m not saying the ISI or the army was involved. I narrated a conversation between the ISI chief and myself,”

“The ISI chief only said these were ‘our people’, which, I think, refers to Pakistanis who had state support in the past. He didn’t say it was ‘our operation’, which would mean it was executed by the ISI,” the diplomat added.

Haqqani further said the remarks by the former ISI chief let him to think if a state had people it considered its own acting without its approval that was a very dangerous thing.

“Pakistan will have to bear the consequences of the 26/11 attackers without having full control over their participation or planning in it,” upheld Haqqani.

“The other interpretation could be that there was planning, which has been offered by Indian and American experts. If that’s the case, then it’s even more dangerous,” he added.

He advised the government to do away with militias fed on ideologies and rhetoric of people like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, who, according to him, have some grand delusion to pursue instead of advancing the cause of the Pakistani state.

“If you read Lashkar-e-Taiba’s literature, it talks about how their job is to liberate all territories that used to be under Muslim control and are no longer so. Any tolerance for it is going to only come back and bite Pakistan,” he said.