External Affairs

Pakistan Must First Become Secular to 'Stay Together' with India: Army Chief

"How can we stay together when they say they are an Islamic State and there is no role for anyone else?"

New Delhi: Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat reacted to Pakistan Prime Minster Imran Khan’s statement that if Germany and France can come together after war, then why not India and Pakistan, by saying that in order for Pakistan to stay together with India, it will have to become a secular state first.

In spite of making claims that Pakistan wants to forget the past to move forward and establish a civilised relationship with India, General Rawat asserted that as long as no tangible effects are visible on the ground, India will maintain its policy – that “terror and talks cannot go together.”

Responding to Imran Khan’s speech on Wednesday urging for peace and dialogue between the two countries in which he said “if India takes one step, Pakistan will take two,” General Rawat remarked that India has taken the first step several times before in the past and now it’s Pakistan’s turn to take a concrete step towards containing terrorism on its side of the border.

Also read: Peace Talks With India After 2019 Elections: Imran Khan

“For this idea of countries coming together, Pakistan will have to look at their own internal situation. Pakistan has made itself into an Islamic State. If they have to stay together with India, they will have to become a secular state. We are a secular state. How can we stay together, when they say they are an Islamic State and there is no role for anyone else,” General Rawat said according to the Indian Express

General Rawat made these statements to mediapersons on the sidelines during the Passing Out Parade of the 135th course of National Defence Academy in Pune, which he was reviewing on Friday morning.

Imran Khan addressed thousands of Indian pilgrims at the ground breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor on November 28 – during which he said that it is “madness” for nuclear armed countries to think of war.

Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said that dialogue between the two countries can start “the moment Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India.” India, for the second time, has refused to attend the SAARC summit in Pakistan, which has now been postponed indefinitely.

Join The Discussion