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Sunday, August 14, 2022
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EditorialPeople-to-people contacts

People-to-people contacts

The arrival of 90-year-old Indian woman Reena Chhibber Varma in Rawalpindi last week gives an insight into the missing link between the two neighboring states. Still many families and individuals have been in search of their identities, which they had lost during partition back in 1947. Any opportunity that provides them an access to their lost past gives a fresh hope of healing tense ties between Pakistan and India. However, the rigidity in stances from both states never allows them to find a common ground for easing tensions. Rather, it creates more problems for citizens of both countries. Due to the lack of cooperation, Reena Chhibber Varma had to wait for almost 57 years before materializing her long-cherished dream of visiting her ancestral home in Rawalpindi as she had applied for Pakistani visa in 1965 but failed to get it then as tensions between the two neighbours were high because of war.

Can the governments of Pakistan and India gauge the level of happiness and excitement of Chhibber felt upon her arrival in Pakistan? In fact, there is a need to ease visa restrictions to provide such opportunities to more families to get in touch and play a role in ending decades long hostilities.

It is high time that Pakistan and India should jointly work for improving ties. Pakistani and Indian governments and establishments need to grow up. The people of both countries want to meet each other for social, religious and economic reasons. They have so much in common. The conflict between Pakistan and India is counted among one of the oldest rivalries. The world is observing insanity of leadership from both countries, who have failed to ascertain the advantages of peace and trade. The process to change the status quo between Pakistan and India, desired by many, can be helped by developing people-to-people contacts and improving diplomatic relations.

The dividends that peace offers are unlimited and achievable through the establishment of long lasting peace in the region. The leadership of both countries must resolve all bilateral issues in a civilised manner. They must listen to each other’s opinion, address grievances and seek solutions. The trade and economic prospects between both states are enormous and cannot be ignored. Instead of making a mountain out of a molehill, both governments need to resolve all issues by getting engaged in peace talks.

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