Colombo, December 4 (NIA): The Pakistan Navy chief, Adm. Syed Arifullah Hussaini, has said that Pakistan and India should recognize and build on the many commonalities between Pakistanis and Indians as looking at “positives” will help the two countries shed mutual animosity.
In an interview to Ceylon Today on the sidelines of Galle Dialogue 2016, an International Maritime Conference held here recently, Adm. Hussaini said that there is much in common between Indians and Pakistanis.
“ We speak the same language, almost. We have cultural connectivity. They (Indians) are not alien to us and nor are we to them. We know each other well, and when you know someone well, that is positive. If you have a negative attitude even towards your brother, he will appear as a villain. But he is still your brother. It’s a question of attitude.”
“We (Pakistanis) have tried to be positive. There are some people, I must admit, who talk negatively, and it’s also not that everyone in India has been negative towards us. There are many people who want to build positive relations,” Adm.Hussaini said.
Denies Arms Race
Queried if the Pakistan navy is trying to keep the balance of power in the South Asian region vis-à-vis its rival India, Adm.Hussaini said: “ We don’t want to maintain any particular power ratio. Our policy is to avoid and deter war. If you want to stop a war, there should be a minimum credible deterrence. So we’ll maintain minimum, comprehensive and credible deterrence. There are traditional conflicts and there are low intensity conflicts. We want to deter all kinds of aggression that will harm us. Defending ourselves is a legitimate right, so to ensure that we will do what it takes. But we do not want to get into an arms race because for us, the progress and prosperity of our people are more important.”
Asked about the future of military cooperation between Pakistan and Sri Lanka after the end of war against the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, Adm.Hussaini said: “ We would like cooperation to become vibrant in the socio-economic sector. One does not live only for security. Meaningful engagements start when countries start socio-economic partnerships. We need a very intense socio-economic partnership.”
(The featured picture at the top is that of the Pakistan navy chief, Adm.Syed Arifullah Hussaini)