A book launch by a Pakistani writer, who is also a former information minister of that country, turned into a ‘high-voltage’ debate after the author came under ‘heavy fire’ over Indo-Pak relations and terrorism from none other than chief guest PM Bhargava, scientist and human rights activist.
“Though there is wide criticism of terrorism and extremism, it is surprising that your book does not have any mention of Pakistan’s role regarding Osama Bin Laden,” said Bhargava as he started speaking about the book. He then went a step ahead and questioned the Pakistan government’s role in promoting terrorism.
Javed Jabbar, the author book titled ‘Pakistan: Identity and Destiny’ was visibly embarrassed as uncomfortable questions were being thrown at him.
Jabbar, a former national advisor to then president General Pervez Musharraf, is in the city for CoP-11.
According to Bhargava the book spoke only about what Indians think about Pakistanis and not the other way round. “The mention of distortion, misconceptions etc that Indians have about Pakistanis in the Preface does not mention anything vice-versa. It does not discuss the role of Pakistani government and policies which have brought us to today,” said Bhargava adding today’s Pakistan was not what Mohammed Ali Jinnah had thought of.
Responding to Jabbar’s claim of Nuclear technology as Pakistan’s strength, Bhargava said, “We developed our own autonomous nuclear technology where as everyone knows about Pakistan’s nuclear technology and China’s contributions.”
To this Jabbar replied, “It was only after our neighbour brought in the technology to South Asia and threatened our security, we went ahead with one for us.” He also said, “The speaker has done a comprehensive criticism to make sure nobody buys my book. I do not think the book fits in the Indian narratives. What is reflected in media about Pakistan is not the real Pakistan.”
The critical exchange lasted for more than an hour after which the two smiled at each other and went to the terrace of the hotel for a get-together.