‘Unstable’ Pakistan to figure at India-Germany summit

Monday, December 6, 2010

NEW DELHI - Germany believes that the situation in Pakistan is “unstable” with “an open struggle for control” going on and this situation is likely to be discussed when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets Chancellor Angela Merkel

during his visit to Berlin Saturday,

It is no wonder that situation in Pakistan remains the issue of central concern to us, said Geman ambassador Thomas Matussek.

Matussek was speaking to Indian journalists ahead of Manmohan Singh’s Dec 9-12 trip to Europe during which he will attend a European Union (EU) summit in Belgium and also travel to Berlian for talks with Merkel and other German leaders.

The ambassador said civil and defence trade and global and regional security issues, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, will be the highlights of the talks between the two leaders.

In Pakistan, an open struggle for control of the country is going on as some parts havee a legitimised power structure, he said.

We have other parts that are of the power system that is not legitimised. And, we fear that the internal situation in Pakistan is unstable, Matussek said.

He said that democratic institutions in Pakistan needed to be strengthened to contribute to the stability of Pakistan and expressed concern that poverty was pushing parents there to send their kids to Muslim seminaries. Such seminaries are widely believed to be breeding grounds for terrorists.

I think one area is that we should help Pakistan in the humanitarian fields. We should help Pakistan in building up an infrastructure, health system and educational system where the poor peoople are not forced to send their children to madrassas instead of schools, said the ambassador..

Matussek said the cooperation of that government and of the international community was needed to stabilise Pakistan.

If the system (in Pakistan) breaks down we are all, first and foremost India, will be at the receiving end of it, he said, urging New Delhi to help Islamabad in stablising the country.

He said terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba were a threat that is very serious.

Asked if the Pakistan government was doing enough to combat terror, the diplomat said, No.

But he added that it was not a matter of arm twisting or exerting pressure on Pakistan to make it to root out terrorism.

It is a matter of open, sincere dialogue and to help Pakistan. Not that everyone in Pakistan supports terror, we should strengthen democratic elements in the power structure who are on the same page as we are.

He also expressed concern about multiple power centres in Pakistan. Asked about the Pakistan Army being in absolute control in some parts, the ambassador said: You know, absolutely… This is a problem and a problem for all of us.

The ambassador said in NATO-led international forces’ fight against terror in Afghanistan areas bordering Pakistan there are of course cases where we believe that they (the Pakistan Army) are not doing enough and not doing a long thing.

Our commanders in the fields say this very very clearly and also sometimes use the necessary pressure to get them do the things which have to done in our common interest, for example in chasing the Al Qaeda and other terrorists groups on Pakistan soil.”

Filed under: Diplomacy

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