Indian Congress Leader Sparks Controversy by Extolling Pakistanis as India’s “Biggest Asset”

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GG News Bureau
Lahore, 12th Feb. 
Renowned Congress leader and former Union Minister, Mani Shankar Aiyar, has stirred a fresh wave of controversy with his recent remarks in Lahore, Pakistan, where he praised the Pakistani people and advocated for improved Indo-Pak relations. According to reports from Dawn, Aiyar described Pakistanis as the “biggest asset of India” during an event at the Faiz Festival.

Addressing the audience at a session titled ‘Hijr Ki Rakh, Visaal Kay Phool, Indo-Pak affairs’, Aiyar reminisced about his experiences in Pakistan, particularly during his tenure as consul general in Karachi. He recounted the warmth and hospitality he and his wife received, expressing admiration for the Pakistani people’s tendency to respond in kind to gestures of friendliness.

Aiyar emphasized the need for goodwill between the two nations, criticizing the lack of progress in bilateral relations over the past decade, particularly under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He lamented the missed opportunities for dialogue and urged for a rekindling of communication channels between the two countries.

The Congress leader’s remarks sharply contrasted with India’s official stance on Pakistan, which emphasizes a firm stance against terrorism and the need for credible actions from Pakistan before engaging in talks. Aiyar’s call for dialogue and cooperation echoed sentiments expressed by several former Indian diplomats and high commissioners who have advocated for engagement despite differences.

Aiyar’s comments have sparked debate within India, with some viewing them as a departure from the established diplomatic protocol and others applauding his efforts to foster better relations with Pakistan. However, his remarks have also drawn criticism from proponents of the ruling BJP government, who maintain a tough stance on cross-border terrorism and assert that dialogue must be contingent upon concrete actions from Pakistan to address security concerns.

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