NEW DELHI - Former Indian minister and MP Shashi Tharoor, says that there is ‘a systematic effort’ to shield the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack, but it is in our interest to have peace with Pakistan, because development was not possible with troubled borders.
“There is an element of connivance with the Pakistani establishment, as revealed by David Headley and now Abu Jundal, which hasn’t been dealt with convincingly by the Pakistani authorities,” said Tharoor to Indian media.
However, he said, there was “a realistic case” for India to make peace with Pakistan. “It’s in our interest to have peace with Pakistan. We have aspirations for ourselves and our people which are not compatible with hostility with Pakistan. We won’t be able to focus on development if we have troubled borders,” he said. Tharoor, an MP from Thiruvananthapuram, and a former UN official, was minister of state for external affairs when India’s relations with Pakistan were severely strained after the 26/11 attacks and dialogue between the two countries was frozen.
Tharoor attributes the dismal state of India-Pakistan relations, and the slow pace of 26/11 justice to the stranglehold of Pakistan’s military-dominated establishment. “There are elements in Pakistan who don’t want peace with India, because it will destroy their excessive claim to influence. Pakistan will not be a military-dominated state if the military can’t persuade the country that there is a threat from India,” he said.
In his new book, “Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century,” Tharoor writes: “The central problem bedevilling the relationship between the two sub-continental neighbours is not, as Pakistani propagandists like to suggest, Kashmir, but rather the nature of the Pakistani state itself - specifically, the stranglehold over Pakistan of the world’s most lavishly funded military (in terms of percentage of national resources and GDP consumed by any army on the planet).”
Pitching for multi-alignment as New Delhi’s model of diplomacy in a multi-polar 21st century world, Tharoor has used the metaphor of the worldwide web in Pax Indica to describe how India can juggle a series of “networked relationships” to realise its foreign policy goals for the larger overarching goal of domestic transformation and national renaissance.