‘No harm in talking to Pak Army directly’
Jammu, Sep 20: A senior Indian army commander Tuesday suggested direct contact between the armies of India and Pakistan to “build better understanding.”
“There is no harm in talking to Pakistan Army directly, as suggested by some of the circles, as talks can only improve the environment. In fact there should be more talks at all the levels including clergy to clergy,” Maj Gen Rakesh Sharma, GOC 10 Infantry Division said at a seminar here today.
Maj Gen Sharma made the novel suggestion while presenting his paper ‘Pakistan Army’s India Centricity and Impact on Nationhood’ at the concluding session of the two-day seminar on ‘Mapping Contemporary Pakistan’ at Jammu University.
Meanwhile, admitting that the Indian defence modernization has lagged behind, the General Officer Commanding (COC) 16 Corps Lt Gen JP Nehra called for expediting the modernization process.
“We need to develop capabilities in modern tools in the fields of cyber war, covert operations,” Gen Nehra said in his concluding remarks at the seminar.
The GOC also narrated his experiences during the Israel-Hezbollah standoff in 2006 and highlighted how military to military talks between IDF and LAF removed the animosity and reduced the tensions on the border.
“Therefore there is no harm in starting military to military exchanges”, he said and complimented the Jammu University for their efforts in developing discourse on contemporary Pakistan.
Earlier, today’s sessions on ‘Endgame in Afghanistan’ and ‘Demystifying Pakistan Army’ pulled a large gathering of intelligentsia.
The first session of the day, which dwelled upon Pakistan-Afghanistan region, was chaired by the Prof Karori Singh of Rajasthan University. Prof Kulwant Kour spoke on ‘India as a Strategic Calculus in Pakistan’s Afghan Policy’ and Prof Surinder Shukla (Punjab University, Chandigarh) presented a paper on ‘End Game in Afghanistan: Reconstruction Process and India’s Role’.
The major issue which emerged from the session was that India needs to engage Afghanistan more constructively.
The session on ‘Demystifying Pakistan Army’ was chaired by Prof Varun Sahni. He focused on the issues like dilution of credibility, public antipathy, heightened anti military sentiments post Osama killing and radicalisation trend. Kapil Kak discussed ‘Pakistan’s Key External Relations’ which included Pakistan’s future relations with US, military’s China dimension, China’s objectives and concerns and Pakistan military’s Afghanistan strategy.
The seminar concluded with the round table conference moderated by Prof Varun Sahni. The panelists included Pem Shankar Jha, Kapil Kak, Maj Gen Rakesh Sharma and Capt (IN) Alok Bansal.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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