Only two days after Pakistan extended an olive branch to the neighbouring country by doing groundbreaking of Kartarpur border corridor in a bid to ease Indian pilgrims’ visit to the shrine of Guru Nanak Devji, the founder of the Sikh faith, Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday said that Pakistan will have to become a secular state to coexist peacefully with India.
General Rawat’s remarks were made while interacting with the local media on the sidelines of a military ceremony in Pune earlier in the day, The Indian Express reported.
“For this idea of countries coming together, Pakistan will have to look at their own internal situation. Pakistan has made itself into an Islamic State. If they have to stay together with India, they will have to become a secular state. We are a secular state. How can we stay together, when they say they are an Islamic State and there is no role for anyone else,” General Rawat was quoted by the Indian media outlet as saying.
In response to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer of taking two steps for every single Indian step, the Indian army chief said, “India has taken the first step several times. At least show us one step from your side. Terrorism is growing in your country. At least show us some action from your side against terrorism.”
During Wednesday’s ceremony at Kartarpur, PM Khan had said the whole Pakistani nation was on one page with regards to improving bilateral ties with India. “We wish to move forward, we want a civilised relationship … I assure you that we can solve this problem. But determination and big dreams are necessary. Imagine, once trade begins, once our relationship is fixed, how much both nations could benefit,” he had said.
PM Khan had proposed that if France and Germany can live in peace then why India and Pakistan cannot do the same.
However, while interacting with the Indian reporters in Islamabad, the premier said Pakistan did not receive a positive response from India pertaining to bilateral talks, terming the Narendra Modi-led government’s mindset main hurdle in failure to hold dialogue.
“Pakistan’s mindset has changed, but India’s hasn’t,” PM Khan told news reporters from the neighbouring country. He said that there’s no issue that can’t be resolved through talks.
According to him, the opening of Kartarpur corridor was one of the measures taken to improve bilateral ties. “There’s no enmity between the people of the two countries; people to people relations could be improved.”