Q : What do you think of Tashkent? Should the Prime Minister go there?
A : I think the Prime Minister should not go to Tashkent. Russia has not condemned Pak aggression. It has put the aggressor and the victim of aggression on the same footing, and called them together for talks.
Q : If Russia had condemned Pakistan, Pakistan would never have agreed for any talks in Russia.
A : And what would be so bad about that? After all, what is there to talk? I think that until and unless Pakistan accepts the fact that Jammu and Kashmir State is legally a part of the Indian Union, no purpose would be served by keeping talking to them.
Q : What do you expect to come out of Tashkent talks?
A : Nothing. Or if something does come out, it will be adverse to India. The reason is very simple. Pakistan is still in a very aggressive mood. I therefore think that renewed large-scale fighting is inevitable. Only three days back they blew up an Indian jeep carrying a party of five, including an army doctor and a major. The major alone survived the blast but he was pounced upon and stabbed to death. He was given a big funeral in Bikaner but the Press did not report a word!
Q : Pakistan's capacity to buy arms is only a fraction of that of India. USA has stopped its arms aid to Pakistan. How then can Pakistan hope to measure swords with us?
A : Many countries are sending arms to Pakistan. American arms are reaching Pakistan via third countries. I find it difficult to believe that this can go on without the knowledge or against the will of the US Government.
I say the only way to solve the Kashmir problem is to integrate that State completely with India. If there are people today in Kashmir who are in two minds, the fault is not theirs; the fault is that of the Government of India which talked of plebiscite for years, and which still puts Kashmir on a special and separate pedestal.
I hope when the Prime Minister goes to USA he tells President Johnson that American policy in this area needs to be radically changed. We must make it clear to USA that its interests in this area are the same as ours. Once we take a clear and firm line on Kashmir, the world will understand and appreciate our position.
Q : How strong is India to face the situation of arms purchase, food shortage, reduced foreign aid and increased diplomatic pressures?
A : Our country's potential is very great. It has great sources of strength. Only, the Government must know how to tap them.