Pakistan's high commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Saturday said that Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is staying firmly put in the driving seat of the nation. Denying reports about the growing rift between Pak army and elected government, Basit assured that Sharif-led government has no problems and is instead seeking to resolve its problems with India through fresh beginnings.
However, speaking to an Indian newspaper on Saturday, Basit said that Pak army will always have a role in international affairs of the country. “When it comes to issues concerning India, Afghanistan and other issues which are security related... obviously our army or military has an important role to play. It has important inputs to give. So to expect that it will not have any role in Pakistan's India policy or Afghanistan policy and other such issues is incorrect,” he said.
Nuclear attack not an option:
On being asked about Pakistan’s consistent nuclear threats to India, the Pak envoy said that Pakistan wants to retain the credibility of its deterrence, “To even think along those lines is suicidal… Pakistan is not into an interminable arms race with India. Nuclear deterrence, or deterrence as a whole, is an indispensable part of our calculus but that is meant to promote peace, not to wage war.”
Kashmir’s internal conflict is enough:
Reacting over the allegations of consistent infiltrations attempts by Pak troops, Basit said that struggle in J&K does not need any infiltration. “As far as we know, there is no infiltration taking place from our side. Pakistan stands by its commitment given in 2004 (to India on terrorism)… On infiltration, the Indian narrative was different before July 8 but after that, the discourse changed and all of a sudden claims were made about cross-LoC infiltration.”
Diplomatic isolation: SAARC was collective loss; Pak is ahead of India in global connectivity
In the interview, Basit assured that Pakistan is not worried about international isolation, as reported in Pak media, because it is well poised to become global economic hub in a few years.
On cancelled meeting of SAARC, the diplomat said that the incidence was collective loss. “I know it is India's stated policy to isolate Pakistan but I can assure you it is not going to happen. Pakistan is contributing to international peace. It remains one of the largest contributors to the UN peace keeping missions. We know our place in the world,” he said.