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Benazir Admitted To Poor Handling Of Kashmir Issue: Aiyar

PTI 10 Aug 2011, 11:14:02 IST

New Delhi, Aug 9 : Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar today said former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto had “admitted to him of not having handled the Kashmir issue correctly” in 1996.

“If Benazir Bhutto was alive today, it would have helped India since she wanted a strong relationship between the two countries.”

“However, she agreed with me that when she became the Prime Minister for the second term , she had not handled the Kashmir issue correctly,” Aiyar, also a former High Commissioner to Pakistan, said at a function here.

Foreign Minister of Pakistan Hina Rabbani Khar had on her visit to India stated the aim of the tour was to have an “uninterrupted and uninterruptible dialogue”.

Aiyar claimed the idea of such dialogue was first mooted by him to Bhutto and she had liked it.  “She (Bhutto) had also liked my phrase of uninterupted and uninterruptible dialogue, which was ironically used by Khar during her visit to India,” he said.

Aiyar said “engaging with Pakistan means engaging with everything that embarrasses India and Pakistan. What embarrasses India is Kashmir and what embarrasses Pakistan is Balochistan,” the former diplomat said.

He warned the two countries could turn into an unwanted burden for each other if “reasonable relations” were not built. PTI