Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah did not want Pakistan and India to be eternal enemies, said former Pakistan Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani in an interview with an Indian publication.
“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.
The former ambassador’s recent remarks came during an interview with HuffPost India in Bangalore about his recent book India vs Pakistan: Why Can’t We Just Be Friends?
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.
On November 26, 2008, 10 heavily-armed gunmen laid siege to the capital of India’s Maharashtra, including luxury hotels, a Jewish centre, a hospital and a bustling train station, killing 166 people. The lone surviving gunman Ajmal Kasab was hanged in India on November 21, 2012.
Haqqani further said the remarks by the former ISI chief let him 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 former ambassador 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.
COURTESY HUFFINGTON POST-INDIA