29/01/2016 10:09 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Pakistan's Former Defence Secretaries Advise Pak To Stay Firm While Normalising Ties With India


LAHORE -- Pakistan's former defence secretaries have warned the government to be extra cautious and stay firm while pursuing a process of normalising ties with India, as they do not see a major shift in Delhi's policy on its ties with Pakistan.

According to the Dawn, former defence secretary retired Lt Gen Asif Yasin Malik called for "open and extensive" debate within the country on its relations with India and said that "there has to be a people-driven national vision, not a government-driven."

Pakistan and India are on the verge of resuming their peace dialogue under the tag of 'Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue'.

Earlier, the talks were delayed following the attack on Pathankot Air Base, but high-level contact between the two countries have given the impression of new momentum in bilateral ties.

However, Malik cautioned that one must not expect tectonic shifts in ties but admitted to chances of improvements caused by expediencies of the international environment.

For Pakistan, "bending is not an option; either forward or backwards. We bend and we get a kick," Malik said.

Accusing India of playing 'cat and mouse' over ties with Pakistan, he recalled Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's aggressive posture towards Pakistan during his election campaign,

In his view, the solution was in the leadership of both the hostile countries ending the "blame game" and approaching the relationship with fresh and open minds.

"The imbalance of size and political clout highly in favour of India begs third party facilitation to veer these two nuclear powers away from confrontational mode. There seems to be no other option," he said.

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