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Modi will be 'tougher customer' than Manmohan Singh: Pak activist

Islamabad: Saying Narendra Modi will be a "tougher customer" than Manmohan Singh, a leading Pakistani rights activist has urged Islamabad to address New Delhi's concerns over terrorism.

Narendra Modi Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh with India's prime minister elect Narendra Modi. Pic: AFP

"Pakistan must be ready to offer India satisfaction on its complaints regarding cross-border terrorism, for Modi will be a tougher customer than Manmohan Singh," I.A. Rehman said in the Dawn newspaper Thursday.

A Ramon Magsaysay award winner, Rehman was making a comparison between India's outgoing prime minister Manmohan Singh and his successor Modi who will be sworn in Monday.

Rehman added: "Besides, the tendency to make bilateral normalization subject to settlement of outstanding differences, including and specially Kashmir, will have to be suppressed.

"It will be necessary to proceed in state-to-state affairs on the principle of mutual interests and reciprocity."

Rehman felt that how the new Modi government views its relations with Pakistan was important for the people of both countries.

He said Pakistani officials may be right, "up to a point, in believing that once in power Modi will learn to curb some of his extremist inclinations.

"Second, it is commonly believed that a BJP government in India and an army-backed Punjabi prime minister in Pakistan are best equipped to resolve the festering feuds that have dragged both countries down."

Summing up, Rehman said: "The whole world is watching, literally with bated breath and for obvious reasons, as to how India will fare under Modi's stewardship."

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