Source: News Bharati English27 Jun 2016 11:51:17

Islamabad, June 27: Even after three wars and countless attempts of proxy war Pakistan is not able to “conquer Kashmir”. Any progress on the issue can be possible only in an environment of mutual trust with our neighbour, said former Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

The observation of former Pak Foreign Minister came against the background of the latest terrorist attack on the Indian CRPF men at Pampore in Kashmir Valley.

In an interview with Geo News, she said, “I believe Pakistan cannot conquer Kashmir through war and if we cannot do that, the option we are left with is a dialogue and dialogue can only proceed with a partner with whom we have normal relations and a certain level of mutual trust”.

The former Pak Foreign Minister claimed that the PPP government had tried its best to normalize relations with India through relaxation visa rules and by normalizing trade ties. Pakistan had a coalition government then, she said. 

“The issues between the two countries cannot be resolved in a hostile environment,” said Khar who remained Pak foreign minister between 2011 and 2013. She said that Kashmir issue could be resolved if “we continue to talk on the issue”.

Answering a question regarding the military's influence on Pakistan’s foreign policy, she said that it is a diplomat’s job to carry forward the military’s perspective on issues where the military is a relevant stake holder.

Khar stated some people believe that the issue can only be resolved “if there is a BJP government in India and a military government in Pakistan”.

Khar observed that Musharraf gave India adequate relaxation on the Kashmir issue during his tenure.

US love for India: Replying to a question on recent US-India bonhomie Khar said that this sudden US inclination towards India is driven by the economy, market and wish to put a check on China’s rising power.

“Now let us ask ourselves, is the US moving towards India because India is a nuclear state, or because it is a military power, no, it is people power and their democratic traditions, if we want to compete, let's compete on these grounds,” said Khar.

The former foreign minister also termed Pakistan's entry into Afghan Jihad a ‘mistake’ and maintained that Pakistan’s dependence on the US is more in “our minds than on the ground”.

She termed it as Zia’s mistake for helping the US in the 80s and added Musharraf had no option when it came to helping the US in 2001.

Foreign office or political office: Criticising the approach and the performance of ministry of foreign affairs, she asked if the foreign office has turned into a political office.

“The foreign office is busy nowadays in apprising the nation about some country’s leader sending flowers to the prime minister or inquiring about his health,” said Khar.

Khar maintained that Pakistan’s current foreign policy is “reactive and not active” as Pakistan is not taking its own line or direction but is only reacting to the circumstances arising in the region or world at large.

“In 60 years, we have taught our children that our national identity is to hate someone, and we are doing it with those who are physically the nearest. Hostile with India and now hostile with Afghanistan,’ said the former foreign minister.

Summing up her answer, she maintained that the basic objective of Pakistan’s foreign policy should be to serve the people of the country and not the pursuit of power.