New Delhi: Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani said the country should not live by the slogan ‘Pakistan in Danger’ and it should focus on friendly relationship with India.
Haqqani’s speech on Thursday was played as a recorded video message at the ongoing Penguin Spring Fever Literary festival as he could not make it to the event.
Clarifying his absence, Haqqani said that he could not avail the visa as he applied late and it takes very long for a Pakistani to get an Indian visa.
“In 1948, Bengali leader Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy said that Pakistan will not prosper if the leaders try to run it on the basis of fear, just as the country was formed on the creation of the fear that Islam is in danger,” Haqqani, who has written the book ‘Pakistan – Between Mosque and Military’, said.
He also said that Pakistan has to overcome the baggage of partition, that is manifested in the forms of militancy and militarism .
“The debate on partition has been going on for long and it was debilitating for the country. It divided the country and led to the formation of Bangladesh. Pakistan can become plural and modern society if we shed the baggage of partition,” said Haqqani.
The author also argued that Pakistan’s militarism is a result of the difficult relationship between India and Pakistan.
“In my book, I have argued that how mosque and military have shaped the idea of Pakistan,” he said.
Stressing on the need for friendly ties with India, he said that the country has to accept criticism in the right earnest.
“People of Pakistan need to understand that the criticism of the policy are not questioning the right of the people of Pakistan to live in peace. It is important to come to terms for Pakistan that progress is important and that modus operandi with India is important,” he noted.
“The country is young, 100 million are below the age of 22 and are talented people whose potential is yet to unleash. It is up to the world to see Pakistan as that of poets, of artists, of small and battled liberals, of landed aristocracy or that of an establishment,” he said.