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Mahendra Pande asked: With Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan migrating to India, would it have a major impact on the relations between the two countries? What should be the Indian Government’s response to it?

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  • Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: With the rise in radicalism in Pakistan, the minority communities as a whole— both Muslim and non-Muslim minorities— including Shias, Ahmadiyas and Hindus are being attacked by Sunni radical elements. During the last year (2012), media reports about some Sikhs and some Hindus migrating to India did attract wider public attention in India. However, this is unlikely to have any major impact in India-Pakistan relations, beyond reinforcing negative perceptions about Pakistan amongst the people in India. The government of India appears determined to extend a fig leaf to the government in Pakistan and engage it in a constructive dialogue where all these issues can be taken up for discussion, without lowering its guard on the security front. The rise in extremism in Pakistan is an issue of concern for India as a neighbour; however, India has no other option but to put pressure on the Pakistan government— both through bilateral engagement and by working with the international community— to take adequate measures to contain this tide.