Mani Shankar Aiyar, a prominent Congress leader who held the position of India’s consul general in Karachi from December 1978 to January 1982, has expressed his admiration for the people of Pakistan. He firmly believes that the Pakistani populace is not an adversary to India and can play a pivotal role in fostering improved relations between the historically antagonistic neighboring nations.
Within the pages of his autobiography, titled “Memoirs of a Maverick – The First Fifty Years (1941-1991),” Aiyar dedicates an entire chapter to his tenure in Pakistan.
Aiyar underscored the need for India and Pakistan to reinitiate diplomatic discussions. During his tenure as consul general in Karachi, he approved around 300,000 visas, and remarkably, not a single complaint of misuse was reported.
In his viewpoint, India should refrain from directing its criticisms at the Pakistani citizens and instead focus on the nation’s governing establishment.
Aiyar contended that while the process of dialogue with Pakistan will be gradual and may encounter setbacks, patience and determination are essential in cultivating a meaningful relationship with the neighboring country.
He strongly advocated for amicable relations between India and Pakistan, emphasizing their shared language, culture, and affinity for Bollywood.
According to Aiyar, individuals who served in Pakistan frequently observed the genuine goodwill that Pakistani citizens harbor towards Indians.
Furthermore, Aiyar asserted that until India addresses its relationship with Pakistan, it will be hindered in its pursuit of a rightful place on the global stage.