'A growing number of Pakistanis are against Hafiz Saeed now'

India-Pakistan relations have never been smooth, but attacks such as Pathankot and 26/11 threaten to damage ties that have been repaired, said Pervez Hoodbhoy, a Pakistani nuclear physicist and national security analyst.

He was in India to speak at a program titled 'India And Pakistan: What Next', organised by the Centre for Policy Analysis.

Catch spoke to him about Pakistan's nuclear weapons strategy, the religious extremism there and how the relationship between the two neighbours can improve.

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Instead of having expertise in nuclear physics, he feels, both countries should not invest economic resources into developing nuclear arsenal.

"The two countries have wasted enormous amounts of resources by making nuclear weapons and this is a completely futile and wasteful effort. Instead, what we need to focus on our daily needs upon creating jobs making schools, hospitals giving an environment that is suitable for people to live in," Hoodbhoy said.

On asking whether Hafiz Sayeed is considered a terrorist in Pakistan, he said: "After the Peshawar attack, where 132 children massacred, things changed. There are growing numbers of Pakistanis who think that Hafiz Sayeed and people like him should de-weaponised."

When asking about religious extremism in Pakistan, he said: "Minority groups are not feeling safe in Pakistan and this is an unfortunate fact that now I see in India as well. India, for Pakistan, was a model in terms of religious equality, which Pakistan could only aspire towards. But now the growth of religious forces in India maybe it will become like Pakistan."

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Shadab Moizee

Shadab Moizee @shadabmoizee