Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has rejected allegations levelled by the Indian external affairs minister against the Pakistan Army that it was hindering the peace process between the two countries.
In a strongly-worded statement issued through the Press Information Department on Sunday night, he termed the remarks made by Indian Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid “unnecessary and against diplomatic norms”.
Hours before the meeting between the prime ministers of the two countries in New York, the Indian minister was reported to have alleged in an interview to Voice of America that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and its military were sabotaging the Nawaz Sharif government’s efforts to make peace with India.
Mr Khurshid said while Prime Minister Sharif was saying the right things, it was imperative for the civilian government of Pakistan to find a way to keep the army and the ISI under control. “We’ve been told that all the government agencies are on the same page,” Mr Khurshid said, but added that “if they were, the things that are happening would not be happening”.
Referring to the recent violence on the Line of Control, Mr Khurshid said he would not accept the notion that it could be the work of non-state actors without support from the ISI. He said if Pakistan could not control non-state actors on its territory it should seek India’s help.
Commenting on the Indian foreign minister’s remarks, Chaudhry Nisar said the statements being issued by the Indian rulers and politicians at a time when Pakistan was sincerely trying to improve the atmosphere and end confrontation showed that New Delhi was not serious in pursuing the peace process with Pakistan.
“It is surprising that the Indian government is levelling allegations in response to the Nawaz Sharif government’s efforts to normalise relations between the two countries,” the PML-N leader regretted.
He said no foreign ruler had the right to speak on an international forum about fabricated differences and a gulf between the Pakistan government and its army.
The interior minister said there was complete harmony between the army and the government on all international and national security issues. He said Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had himself stated that the military and the government were on the same page on policy matters. He said the Indian rulers were finding it difficult to digest and were issuing statements reflecting their “ill-intentions, negative thinking and anti-Pakistan sentiments”.