Pakistan has to develop as a secular state if it wants good ties with India, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said on Friday. After Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's comments urging peace and dialogue between the two countries, General Rawat also said while India had taken the first step many times, it is Islamabad's turn to show concrete action against terror.
"Pakistan has made its state an Islamic state. If they have to stay together with India, then they've to develop as a secular state. We are a secular state. If they're willing to become secular like us, then they seem to have an opportunity," the army chief said, according to news agency ANI.
He said Pakistan's claim of taking strong steps towards good bilateral relations was contradictory without visible impact on the ground.
General Rawat was delivering a lecture at the National Defence Academy (NDA) Passing out Parade ceremony in Pune.
Responding to Imran Khan's statement that if India takes one step forward, Pakistan will take two, General Rawat said: "There is a contradiction in what they are saying. One step from there should come in a positive manner, we will see if the step has an effect on the ground. Till then our nation has a clear policy- terror and talks can't go together."
India has for the second time refused to attend a SAARC summit in Pakistan. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday that dialogue between India and Pakistan can start "the moment Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India."