Benazir Bhutto Admitted To Poor Handling Of Kashmir Issue: Mani Shankar Aiyar9 August 2011
New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Tuesday said former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto had 'admitted to him of not having handled the Kashmir issue correctly' in 1996. 'If Benazir Bhutto was alive today, it would have helped India since she wanted a strong relationship between the two countries.' 'However, she agreed with me that when she became the Prime Minister for the second term , she had not handled the Kashmir issue correctly,' Aiyar, also a former High Commissioner to Pakistan, said at a function here. Foreign Minister of Pakistan Hina Rabbani Khar had on her visit to India stated the aim of the tour was to have an 'uninterrupted and uninterruptible dialogue'. Aiyar claimed the idea of such dialogue was first mooted by him to Bhutto and she had liked it. 'She (Bhutto) had also liked my phrase of uninterupted and uninterruptible dialogue, which was ironically used by Khar during her visit to India,' he said. Aiyar said 'engaging with Pakistan means engaging with everything that embarrasses India and Pakistan. What embarrasses India is Kashmir and what embarrasses Pakistan is Balochistan,' the former diplomat said. He warned the two countries could turn into an unwanted burden for each other if 'reasonable relations' were not built. 'Until, we have a reasonable relation with our neighbour, Pakistan will remain an albatross around our neck, just as we will continue to be the same around theirs,' he said during the launch of 'Sixty years in self-exile: no regrets', a an auto-biography by BM Kutty. Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Mallik said the Pakistan government was looking into the issues of Balochistan. Former External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh, President of Policy and Planning Group KTS Tulsi were among those present at the launch.