I Do Not Know Whom To Deal With In Pak, Says Manmohan

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says he does not know whom to deal with in Pakistan noting that the Army was the most powerful force in that country and that it was virtually wielding power. "I
i do not know whom to deal with in pak says...
PTI November 24, 2009 9:39 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says he does not know whom to deal with in Pakistan noting that the Army was the most powerful force in that country and that it was virtually wielding power.

"I think the most element force in Pakistan is the Army... We have to recognise that the power today virtually rests with the Army...I do not think whether we have a partner right now," he said, adding, "I do not know whom to deal with."

Singh also accused Pakistan of not doing enough to bring to book the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks observing that a "friendly" government there would be equally determined to tackle terrorism and take the case to its logical conclusion. "That is not happening," he said.

"No, they (Pakistan) have not done enough," Singh told CNN in an interview taken in New Delhi and aired minutes before the Prime Minister arrived in Washington on the first state visit of the Obama Administration.

Asked if he believed the Pakistani Army was serious in tackling terrorists, Singh said he is not certain if the military will take on those elements.

"There is democracy. We would like democracy to succeed and flourish in Pakistan, but we have to recognise that the power today virtually rests with the Army," he said.

The Prime Minister said he does not think that India has a partner in Pakistan today.

"I do not think whether we have a partner right now. I think, when General Pervez Musharraf (was the President) I was to ask him and he said well I am the Army, I represent the armed forces, I represent the people. Now I do not know whom to deal with," he said.

Singh made it clear that there can be no redrawing of borders in Kashmir, triggering a sharp response from Pakistan on Monday which said the "dispute" must be settled in line with the UN resolutions. 

"I have publicly stated that there can be no redrawing of borders (in Jammu and Kashmir)," the Prime Minister said.   "...but our two countries can work together to ensure that these are borders of peace, that people-to-people contacts grow in a manner in which people do not even worry whether they are located on this side of the border or that side," he told CNN in an interview.

Singh was asked whether he saw any prospects for productive negotiations with Pakistan since he was set to be quiet close to some kind of a deal with President Pervez Musharraf before the military ruler quit.

  "If trade is free, if people-to-people contacts (are there) and our both countries competing with each other to enable people on both sides to lead the life of dignity and self respect. Those are issues, which we can discuss, we can reach agreement," he said. 

Unfazed by China's great leap forward, Singh said that India, a "functioning democracy" cannot be a "carbon copy" of its communist neighbour.

"Well, I have no hesitation in saying that I think development in India cannot be a carbon copy of what happens in China. And the Chinese system is very different," Singh said when asked during the interview.

"We are a functioning democracy. And even if you want to acquire land, I think you run into serious problems, and there's for -- of operating a democracy. And democracy is slow-moving. I always believed that it may be slow-moving in the short-term, but in the long run, an arrangement which has the backing of the people will prove to be more durable," he said in the interveiw. 

At the same time, Singh, the economist-turned- politician, was quick to praise China for its achievements on the economy front. "I think the rise of China has contributed handsomely to sustaining the growth momentum in the world economy," he said.

On the oft-said India-China competition, the prime minister noted that he had repeatedly said that the two Asian neighbours were "not in competition."

"I have said it many times that India and China are not in competition. We believe that there is enough economic space for both our countries to realise the growht ambitions of our respective countries. And that's the attitude which guides us in dealing with China," Singh said. PTI

 
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