Sandeep Dikshit

NEW DELHI: Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik has termed the absence of dialogue between India and Pakistan as “unfortunate” and proposed delinking of talks from the probe into last year’s November attacks in Mumbai, as Islamabad was “seriously” pursuing all the leads provided by India.

“Both Pakistan and India are today at a stage, unfortunately, where there is no dialogue between them. If we are seated across the table and agree to disagree, even that is an improvement over the current state of affairs,” he said at the launch of Mir Ghaus Bizenjo’s autobiography.

Bizenjo, described by the former Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar as a Marxist-Gandhian, was a former Governor of Balochistan. He suffered several spells of imprisonment during the freedom struggle and after Pakistan gained independence.

Mr. Malik said Pakistan had made repeated requests to resume the dialogue. This was in the spirit of the India-Pakistan joint statement issued in Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt) in which Prime Ministers of both nations stated that dialogue was the only way forward. “The term delink was used,” he added.

In a reference to the situation in Balochistan and India-Pakistan ties, he recalled a couplet recited by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — “Wo daur bhi dekha hai, tariq ki ankhon ne, Lamhon ne khata ki thi, Sadiyon ne saja payi.” (History has been a witness to those junctures when a moment’s mistake led to decades of suffering.) “No couplet can be more relevant than this. This is what the Government of Pakistan is trying to achieve, more so for Balochistan.

Bizenjo’s son, Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo, felt that the U.S. and its allies were pouring in billions of dollars in Afghanistan only to keep the streets of Paris, Berlin and New York free from violence. However, this would have a detrimental effect in South Asia, especially because of poverty and illiteracy.

He advocated unity among Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and China to contain religious extremism.