‘Solution Lies in Dialogue, Make That Choice’: Navjot Singh Sidhu on India-Pak Tension
Navjot Singh Sidhu's statement comes a day after his friend and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan invited India for a dialogue amid escalations across the border.
Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.
New Delhi: Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday insisted on talks with Pakistan and said that the solution to the tensions between the two countries lies in dialogue and diplomatic pressure.
In a letter, titled ‘We have a choice’, he wrote, “I stand by my conviction that dialogue and diplomatic pressure will count for a great deal in seeking a long term solution to the presence and practice of terror outfits that operate within and across the border. The solution to terror is peace, development and progress.
Citing a speech made by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Sidhu said: “Our objective should be to firmly deal with terrorism and its sponsors, financiers, arms suppliers. At the same time our doors shall always be open for processes which would restore peace, development and progress to societies, which have been devastated by terrorism over many generations.”
The Congress leader's statement came a day after his friend and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan invited India for a dialogue amid escalations across the border.
On both sides of the border, tacticians are planning for the worst, he said, adding that they must think the worst of one another, because only in thinking the worst, do they believe that they can protect and defend. "But this belief is a mirage. Fear has been among us these last days, an unwelcome guest. It is easy to think the worst of the other, but it does not make us safer,” he said.
"I stand by my country. I am the son of a freedom fighter, and the true test of my patriotism is courage. I stand against the fear that keeps many of us silent," he said, adding that stood deeply by the principle he held that a community cannot be blamed for the actions of a few.
"A sentiment our Prime Minister echoed, when he said 'Our fight is against terrorism and enemies of humanity. Our fight is for Kashmir not against Kashmir, not against Kashmiris.' A sentiment our External Affairs Minister shared, when she said 'Our fight is not with Pakistan, our fight is with the terror establishment'," Sidhu said.
Calling the attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama “cowardly”, Sidhu had asked whether an entire nation can be blamed for a handful of people, a comment that invited criticism from many leaders. "No son of our soil should be separated from his loved ones as fighter pilot Abhinandan is today," he said.
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