Pakistan must develop as secular state for talks with India: Army chief

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat (File Photo)

Pune :  Amidst the bonhomie over the Kartarpur corridor, Army chief Bipin Rawat on Friday made some political comments saying Pakistan has turned into an “Islamic State” and should become a secular state if India and Pakistan have to “stay together”.

Reacting to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s comment on Wednesday that if India takes one step his country will take two steps, Gen Rawat said Pakistan should take some action to curb terrorism and till then talks and terror cannot go together.

“Pakistan will have to look at its current position. They have turned their state into an Islamic state. Now, if they have to stay together with India, then they have to develop as a secular state.

“How can we stay together if you say you are an Islamic State. And there is no role for anyone else. We are a secular state. So to stay together we have to become secular. If they are willing to become secular like us, then I think there is some opportunity,” he said said on the sidelines of the passing out parade of cadets at the National Defence Academy (NDA) here.

He said that Pakistan had to look at its internal situation in the context of whether “we stay together or separate”.

The Army chief’s remarks came two days after Imran Khan said at the ground-breaking ceremony at Kartarpur said “if India takes one step, Pakistan will take two steps”.

“They are saying you take one step, we will take two. There is a contradiction in what they are saying. So to generate trust, you cannot keep making these statements.

“One step from them should come in a positive manner. Only then we will take some action and see if there has been some effect on the ground level or not. Till then, our country has a very clear policy – terror and talks cannot go together,” Gen Rawat said.

Urging Khan to take action against terrorism in his own country, he said: “India has taken several steps forward. We said that terrorism is breeding in your (Pakistan) country. So first you take some action in your country which shows that you are actually doing something to curb terrorism in your country.”

Published on: Nov 30, 2018 at 17:54 IST


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