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'Pak did not achieve anything from wars with India'

The former NSA who was sacked by PM Yousuf Raza Gilani for stating that Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani national. - A file photo

ISLAMABAD (PTI): Observing that Pakistan did not “achieve anything” from going to wars with India in the past, former National Security Adviser Mahmud Ali Durrani has said his country should extend a hand of friendship towards the neighbour to settle the outstanding issues.

Durrani said he had participated in two wars and now thought that “Pakistan did not achieve anything from these wars.”
“We should extend (a hand of) friendship towards India, and start peace talks to settle disputes,” he said.

The former NSA was sacked by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani after he told journalists that Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested for the Mumbai attacks, was a Pakistani national.

He said low-level skirmishes started by Pakistan prompted the Indian Army to cross the international border and launch a full-fledged war in 1965.

“We started the intrusions on the borders and I think we should think about the Indian response at that time,” said Durrani. The Indian Army reacted because “low-level skirmishes were started from this side,” he said.

The high-level military command was not involved in “a strategy to disturb India” but politicians knew about what was happening along the border, Durrani told a TV news channel.

Then foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto too had no idea that India would cross the international border.

Durrani also said former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had arranged negotiations between former President Pervez Musharraf and slain premier Benazir Bhutto.

He said he was “very sad” over Bhutto's assassination in 2007.
The former NSA said he accepted President Asif Ali Zardari's invitation to join his government as the NSA after taking Musharraf into confidence.

He said he had floated an idea in India that the neighbours should soften their visa regimes but the Indians had some “security-related reservations.”

Durrani, also a former envoy to the US, said there had only been speculation about Israeli and Indian involvement in the plane crash that killed former President Zia-ul-Haq.

He rejected former President Ghulam Ishaq Khan's statement that Zia's plane was blown up in the air.

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