New Delhi: Pakistan is seen as a global challenge today and not just as a difficult relationship for India, given its support for terrorist groups, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said on Monday.
Speaking at the second Annual India Leadership Summit organised by the Washington-based US Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said India’s partner countries, had often in the past, advised India to use dialogue as a medium to sort out differences with Pakistan. But “today in the 21st century, nobody is doing that because it is no longer a problem for India alone, it has now become a global challenge, that terror infrastructure (in Pakistan) has become the epicentre of global terror today," Madhav said in response to a question on where he saw India-Pakistan relations moving in the future.
“On certain issues like terrorism, the entire democratic world has to come together to persuade the Pakistani leadership to act. Narrowly they have escaped the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) sanctions today. But what will happen in February 2020 nobody knows…the FATF is certainly led not by India. So it is a concern for many countries," Madhav said.
The reference was to the 36-nation FATF, the global body leading the fight against terror financing, on Friday issuing a stark warning to Pakistan that it was on close watch with time only till February 2020 to cut funding for terrorists or be placed on a blacklist.
India has consistently sought good relations with all its neighbours, “but not at gunpoint," Madhav said, referring to terrorists working on Pakistan soil.
In a reference to India’s taking out terrorist launchpads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir over the weekend, Madhav said there was “relentless" cross border shelling over the past two days and “the effort to push terrorists into Kashmir ... we had to act, our forces had to destroy launching pads once again."
“With this kind of a situation along the borders there is bound to be certain expectations from the Indian side that Pakistan amends its affairs. And we will be happy to have friendly relations with everybody. But Pakistan has to first of all address this issue," Madhav said.
Referring to Pakistan’s recent campaign aimed at internationalising the Kashmir dispute following India revoking Article 370 of its constitution that gave special status to Kashmir, Madav said Pakistan was “isolated" on the matter.
“But that also shows that the real intention seems to be somehow use the extraneous issues to somehow manage the internal contradictions in the country, not really serious about managing the internal affairs of the country which should have been the foremost priority of the Pakistani government," Madhav said.