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To stay with India, Pakistan has to become a secular state: Army Chief

General Bipin Rawat said the neighbouring nation should first take steps to curtail terror activities on its soil

Indian Army  |  Pakistan Army  |  India Pakistan Ties

Press Trust of India  |  Pune 

General Bipin Rawat
Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat. File photo

Venturing into uncharted waters, Army chief on Friday said Pakistan should turn into a secular state from an Islamic nation. 

Pakistan's turning into a secular state is essential if the neighbouring country has to stay together with India, the Army chief said.

"If they (Pakistan) have to stay together with India, then they have to develop as a secular state," Gen Rawat told reporters on the sidelines of the Passing Out Parade of the 135th course at the Defence Academy here.   

"See this staying together, staying separate, ispe Pakistan ko apni andruni halat dekhni hogi. Pakistan ne apne state ko Islamic state bana diya hai. Hum log secular state hai (Pakistan has to look at its internal situation. They are an Islamic state, we (India) are a secular state)," he said.

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Gen Rawat said, "How can we stay together if you say I am an Islamic state and there is no role for anybody else," he said. "If they are willing to become secular like us, then they seem to have an opportunity. Pehle dekhe karte hai ki nahi karte (Let us see if they do so or not)." 

The Army chief also asked Pakistan to curtail terror activities.

Asked about Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's statement that Islamabad would move two steps forward if New Delhi took one step, Gen Rawat said the neighbouring nation should first take steps to curtail terror activities on its soil. 

"I would like to tell Pakistan to initiate that first step (curtailing terror). In the past, India has taken several steps. When we say terror is being harboured in your country, show some action by curtailing terror activities which are used against India," Rawat said.

On Khan's statement as to why India and Pakistan could not be friends when Germany and France could be good neighbours, he said the neighbouring nation first needs to see its internal condition. 

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First Published: Fri, November 30 2018. 15:25 IST