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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Window of goodwill with Pak closing: Parrikar

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by June 5, 2016 General

INDIA’S patience with Pakistan seems to be running out as defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said that the window of goodwill opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was closing.

The despondency had set in soon after Prime Minister Modi made a surprise visit to Lahore last year during the height of tension between the two countries.

The attack on Pathankot airbase followed Prime Minister Modi’s Lahore visit.

Islamabad’s refusal to allow Indian investigators to travel to Pakistan to probe the Pathankot attack has put New Delhi in a spot.

The Modi government faced flak at home for giving access to a Joint Investigation Team of Pakistan to Pathankot airbase.

However, a reciprocal visit by Indian investigators has been blocked by Islamabad.

Parrikar, who is in Singapore to take part in the Shangri- La Dialogue, a south east Asian security initiative, said that the onus of building trust between the two countries is on Pakistan.

“ PM Modi opened a window of opportunities when he visited the Pakistan Prime Minister. I think that window is slowly closing.

Before it closes, Pakistan needs to develop that trust with India on its sincerity on the approach,” he said.

“ Pakistan separates terrorists between good ones and bad ones.

They are after bad ones but the good ones are promoted to operate in Afghanistan and India. I think that needs to be tackled at a diplomatic level,” Parrikar said.

The defence minister’s remarks came at a time when the government is facing embarrassment over the alleged remark by National Investigation Agency ( NIA) chief Sharad Kumar that there was no evidence to suggest that Pakistan government had helped Jaish- e- Mohammad carry out the attack.

The government had retracted the statement but not before the opposition unleashed criticism for giving Pakistan an escape route.

BJP leader Ram Madhav on Saturday termed Parrikar’s remarks as a warning to Pakistan.

In a series of tweets, Ram Madhav said that Parrikar had delivered a hard- hitting message to Pakistan which harbours “ good and bad terrorists”. Quoting Parrikar, he said Pakistan uses “ good terrorists” against India and Afghanistan.

Parrikar had outlined India’s security concerns and its vision for dealing with the ongoing situation in the Indo- Pacific region.

He said all the key players in the region from Australia to China, India, Philippines and Vietnam were spending more on military capabilities.

Pakistan separates terrorists between good ones & bad ones. They are after bad ones but the good ones are promoted to operate in Afghanistan & India. I think that needs to be tackled.

PM Modi opened a window of opportunities when he visited the Pakistan PM. I think that window is slowly closing. Before it closes, Pakistan needs to develop that trust with India.

— MANOHAR PARRIKAR, UNION DEFENCE MINISTER ‘ ‘

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