Pak media harp on ‘Natwar’s Advani tune’

Muhammad Najeeb

Islamabad, June 6:

India’s External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh’s comments about Pakistan supporting terrorism in India have led the media here to compare him to former deputy prime minister LK Advani. In a front page report, the influential Urdu daily Jang said “Natwar Singh has started harping on Advani’s favourite tune”, while referring to Singh’s statement, in which he said he would ask Pakistan when it plans to end its programme of “terrorism” against India.

“It seems the Indian attitude towards Pakistan will never change,” the paper quoted an unnamed defence expert as saying. The report also drew parallels between Advani and Singh, saying: “It sounds like the statements are coming from the same person.”

The Indian leader’s statement came after Pakistan last week urged the Congress-led coalition government in New Delhi not to “conduct diplomacy through the media” following a series of statements and counter-statements over the starting point of future talks. Singh was quoted as saying: “When I meet Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, I will ask them when they plan to stop their terrorism programme.

“There can be no compromise on terrorism. Most terrorism in India comes from across the border, though Pakistan’s policy of bleeding India has not worked.” The Nation newspaper too carried Singh’s comments on its front page, under the headline “Natwar’s Advani tune”.

“Such statements will only confuse the prevailing situation between the two countries and can be of no good,” Islam Chaudhry of Quaid-e-Azam University said in a TV programme telecast on the private channel Indus News. Asked to react to Singh’s comments, Pakistan’s foreign office spokesman said everyone knew that the country was not involved in any kind of terrorism. “Rather we ourselves are a target of terrorism,” he said, avoiding a direct comment on Singh’s statement.