Mani Shankar Aiyer seeks “uninterrupted” dialogue with Pakistan

Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar courted controversy yet again by claiming that only “uninterrupted and uninterruptible dialogue” can resolve the long pending dispute between India and Pakistan.

Aiyar was speaking at Karachi Literature Festival in Pakistan during a session named ‘Love Thy Neighbour: India-Pakistan Relations’ when he said only dialogue can ease tensions between the two countries. He said he is “proud” of Pakistan for following this policy while India has failed to reciprocate it.

The former diplomat said, “I love Pakistan because I love India. India should love thy neighbour as thyself.” He explained that Kashmir and “India-directed terrorism” are two of the most important issues that need to be addressed for smoother relations.

Aiyar, who was also previously India’s consul-general in Karachi, said all Pakistani parties, except Jamaat-e-Islami, want peace with India, but this change of mindset on Pakistan’s part is not happening in India, and that is why “we are still caught in a partially 1947 situation.”

Aiyar’s comments came on a day when Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman warned Pakistan of an Indian response for its “misadventures” in Jammu city’s Sunjwan army station, where a few armed terrorists attacked soldiers and civilians in residential quarters of junior commissioned officers.

While these statements inevitably sparked off a war of words between political parties, senior Congress leader V. Hanumantha Rao told reporters that he will write to party president Rahul Gandhi and seek Aiyar’s expulsion.