India must also change to bring change in Pak behaviour: Chidambaram
New Delhi, Apr 21: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram Sunday said that in order to bring a change in Pakistan’s behaviour, India must also change its behaviour towards the neighbouring country.
The former Home minister also said that a way must be found to normalise the India-Pakistan relations so as to answer the country’s “biggest external challenge” in terms of security and various other aspects.
“Whatever we do, we have to make Pakistan change its behaviour. That means we must also change our behaviour towards Pakistan. These attitudinal changes will happen over a period of time. But we must make an effort,” he said at a discussion titled — “Beyond Politics: Debating a new Security Manifesto”, organised by think-tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF) here.
Retired Lt General DS Hooda, who headed the Army’s Northern Command when India carried out “surgical strike” in militant camps across the border in 2017, contended that “one surgical strike or air strike cannot change the behaviour of Pakistan.”
Gen (retd) Hooda also presented salient features of his report “India’s National Security Strategy” — a policy created by his team for the Congress party.
Chidambaram said, “We build strong armies not to win a war but to avoid the war. If that is kept in mind everything will fall in place.”
“We may have tried everything and failed, but we have to try and try and try until we have a break. There is no reason why one day an Indian prime minister and a Pakistan prime minister cannot walk into each other’s territory and shake hands,” he said, adding there has to be some “radical” thinking, a departure from conventional thinking.
Chidambaram suggested that efforts should be made to resolve issues which are easy to sort out and batted for increased mutual visits by the people of the two countries.
He said war is not an option for developing countries like India and Pakistan.
“Barring China, countries in the region are not even middle-income countries. The narrative of war is misleading. The war is not at all an option,” he said.
“We cannot afford to do things beyond the economic capacity.”
He also explained how internal security is also linked to the national security, mentioning the case of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and Naga insurgency.
Chidambaram disputed the claim of the BJP that the current government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a strong one, claiming that last year saw the highest number of militant incursions, highest number of deaths of security personnel and civilians.
Lt. Gen. (retd) Hooda said there is a need for a long-term security policy to be effective against adversaries. He also underlined the need to solve issues like Jammu and Kashmir with a combination of effective military and political policies.