The end without a beginning

 In an analytical article daily Roshni writes that hopes had emerged that India and Pakistan would forget their past bitterness and move on to build a good relationship and solve problems. Imran Khan had asked for restoration of negotiations to solve problems. Prime Minister of India had also given a positive response. It had also been decided that the foreign ministers of two countries would hold a meeting in New York on the sidelines of UN Gen. Assembly session. During Vajpayee’s time, many confidence building measures had been adopted. But this time, suddenly the meeting has been cancelled, because of killing of police personnel by militants. The people hope better sense will prevail.

 Excerpts:

 

A positive approach:

         “A new initiative between India and Pakistan had created such hopes that the ice between the two countries could be broken,  and if the leadership of the two countries show farsightedness, courage and resolve and adopt a positive attitude, there could be no surprise if the two countries built an exemplary relationship. The conscientious and mature sections of both countries had welcomed the development and expressed hope that the two would forget bitterness of the past and would not refrain from taking serious and tangible steps so as to build a stable and strong relationship. It is a fact that in both countries there are people with negative thinking, who do not want that any opportunity should be provided for ensuring peace in South Asia, and these very elements have been making efforts to create cracks in the relationship of two countries from time to time. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan had written a letter to his counterpart, Narender Modi for restoring peaceful negotiations between the two countries. According to Dr. Faisal spokesman of Pakistan Foreign Ministry, Prime Minister Modi gave a positive reply and agreed with Imran Khan’s views. Mr. Modi had sent a congratulatory message to Imran Khan on becoming Prime Minister.” Let us solve our problems by peaceful talks, and we would be waiting for formal reply from  India’, says the letter from Imran Khan. In the letter, Imran Khan had also expressed his desire for a bilateral meeting between foreign ministers of two countries on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session. Imran Khan wrote that he agreed with PM Modi that the only way to move forward was to develop strong relations. According to the Indian ministry of External Affairs, the meeting between two ministers would be held on sidelines of UN General Assembly session in New York and possibly the meeting would be held on 27th September, while agenda was being prepared. The date and time of the meeting would be fixed by mutual agreement of two leaders. According to Pak foreign ministry spokesman, Pakistan had appealed for this meeting and India had agreed, but agenda had  yet to be decided. After the formation of Government in Pakistan, this is the first formal request for bilateral negotiations from Imran Khan. Imran Khan in his letter had laid stress that India and Pakistan should adopt the path of negotiations for resolving problems including Kashmir, because holding negotiations  was the only path for resolution of mutual problems. Imran Khan had said,’ I endorse your views that the only path to move forward is to build strong relations”. Imran Khan had also appreciated the efforts for peace made b late A. B. Vajpayee and it was because of his efforts that SAARC (South Asian Regional Cooperation), has played an important role. Imran Khan had said that Pakistan was prepared to talk over disputes like Kashmir, Sir Creek, Siachin, so that relations between the two countries become strong, and that Pakistan was also prepared to talk on terrorism.”

 

Closing the door:

“After his success in elections, Imran Khan had in his speech talked  about improving relations with India, and had said that ‘if India takes one step, Pakistan will take two’. It was in 2003, the late A. B. Vajpayee had extended his hand of friendship from Srinagar to Islamabad, and Pervez Musharraf had accepted it. Many measures for improving relations had been taken, the road across LoC was opened for people to meet and trade across LoC had also been started. Now that Imran Khan has given the offer, India should give a positive response. Both leaders should take steps together for the prosperity and progress of both countries and for alleviating poverty and illiteracy. In this respect Pak offer will be welcomed, provided both show sincerely and desire to have friendship. But as it is, all the hopes have been dashed to the ground. Black clouds are hovering over the horizon. It was when Ms. Sushma Swaraj cancelled the proposed meeting, because of killing of police personnel at Shopian. So everything is upset”.

 

 

[Courtesy: Urdu Daily Roshni, Srinagar, Kashmir, September 22, 2018].

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