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26/11 terror attack: Friendly Indo-Pak ties only way forward, say senior politicians

IANS New Delhi
Updated: 26-11-2018 21:30 IST
Senior leaders across the political spectrum, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, remembered the victims of 26/11 attacks in Mumbai on this day 10 years ago and agreed that friendly relations between India and Pakistan is the only way forward.

Unveiling "Fables of Fractured Times", authored by Congress leader Manish Tewari on Monday, Singh, along with former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and former diplomat and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Pavan K. Varma, marked a moment of silence in the memory of victims who lost their lives.

Singh said terror achieves no purpose and emphasised that friendly relations between India and Pakistan is the only way forward.

"Our dear citizens were lost due to acts of grave terror. I can only hope that saner elements will prevail in India and Pakistan," he said.

Singh maintained that terror achieves no purpose and referred to the current state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir as a result of the "strained relationship" between the countries, separated at birth.

He said there is a great churning in international affairs, where changes are taking place at a rate that was "unthinkable" 10 years ago.

In an apparent reference to the terrorists from Pakistan, Abdullah said they will never succeed in dividing this nation "unless we are divided".

"Pakistan is a rogue state. The state is dependent on the Army. But if we are united, nobody is so powerful to divide this country," he said.

Abdullah urged the gathering to trust Muslims and reminded them that they are a part of this land.

"Ram doesn't need my vote nor does Allah... The elections are not being fought on developmental issues," he said.

"Do not mistrust Indian Muslims. We are a part of this land. We have never taken directions from Pakistan. We decided not to participate in the elections because they (BJP) were playing with Article 370 and 35A," he said.

Although seen largely in opposition gatherings, Varma maintained that he is very much a part of JD-U and agreed that friendly relations between the countries is the way forward.

He, however, asked the audience, how it is possible to maintain good relations when the perpetrators of 26/11 roam openly in Pakistan and spew venom on India.

The discussion also touched upon the decline in public discourse and Abdullah targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using the language that is unbecoming of a PM.

Singh said that Modi should exercise "due restraint" in his speech and must act in a manner that suits a Prime Minister.

"My advice to the Prime Minister is to exercise due restraint that is becoming of a Prime Minister. When the PM goes to states that are not ruled by the BJP, he has an obligation to not use the language that has now become common practice," he said.

Singh stressed that he and his Congress-led UPA government never discriminated in the fashion the Modi dispensation is doing every day.

"We never discriminated against the BJP-ruled states. (Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister) Shivraj Singhji would himself testify to this. We paid the respect that was deserving," he said.

He urged Modi to set an example.

"He is the Prime Minister of all Indians. His conduct must be worthy and consistent with the obligation he has as a PM," Singh said at the launch of the book from Konark Publishers.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)