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Lahore
Thursday, July 7, 2022
EditorialCold war insanity between archrivals

Cold war insanity between archrivals

A thaw in relations between Pakistan and India is visible in recent times. Lately, India’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval in a statement has expressed his country’s willingness to have “normal relations” with Pakistan. However, he made the peace offer conditional with blocking ‘support to militancy’. An allegation that Islamabad has always negated, saying it provides only diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiri people. Time has come that both states need to set aside their decades long rivalry and sit on the negotiating table to resolve all pending disputes. The two countries simply cannot afford a confrontation on a full-scale because as nuclear-armed states they both face mutually assured Armageddon. Differences of the two countries must be settled on the negotiating table and curbing cross border attacks is the first step towards normalizing conditions necessary for talks to reopen. Point scoring can only satiate the appetite for jingoism and provide a fleeting distraction from the hardships of real issues. This is not a path that is of interest to either Pakistan or India. A peaceful and prosperous South Asia is the only way that the people of Pakistan and India can break their shackles of poverty and achieve real relief from their present condition of despair. The governments of Pakistan and India spend huge budget on the defence sectors. If both states decrease their defence budget and divert a small chunk of this budget to the welfare of common man, it will change the whole fabric of society in both the countries. Unless both the neighbours resolve their outstanding issues, they will remain entangled in problems and cannot tackle other challenges.

The fact that Pakistan and India are neighbouring states cannot be wished away. Wars never solve any problems but create more. No one can afford war in today’s world. What they need to do is to develop trade and commerce and promote people-to-people contacts. There must be an end to the cold war insanity, and serious efforts must be made for the establishment of friendly relations between Pakistan and India. It is the need of the hour that both the countries should respect each other and hold a dialogue to resolve all issues. They should join hands for developing bilateral relations, and resolving all outstanding conflicts. It is the responsibility of India to exercise restraint and come forward for holding a dialogue with Pakistan. While it is in the interests of Islamabad to peacefully settle all issues with New Delhi. It is high time that both the neighbours should get engaged in the peace process and all contentious issues should be resolved through a meaningful dialogue process. Peace is the only option and way forward. Only a more positive approach to the relationship can give good results for both the neighbouring countries as well as for regional peace.

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