Beginning afresh in New York

Indian and Pakistani bilateral relations continue to be on a rough roller coaster.

WEEKEND COMMENT

When India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will meet his Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz on September 13 on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meet in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; there are profound reasons why we should expect they schedule a meeting between their Prime Ministers in New York later this month beyond symbolism. Indian and Pakistani bilateral relations continue to be on a rough roller coaster. During the last couple of months, occasional hostilities along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir have marred the ceasefire the two countries have been holding on since a long time now. The progress in the Composite Dialogue Process has almost stalled. But despite these difficulties both the countries have exhibited maturity in not letting difficult situations slide them into an abyss of no return. Despite the unfortunate deaths of their soldiers on the LoC, the political and the military leaderships of both the countries have chosen not to escalate the tensions. This scenario holds promise for the future. And that promise traces its origin to the fact that as closest neighbours, both the countries’ destinies are inseparable. That reality must guide both the countries’ approach towards resolving their outstanding issues of contention. That reality must make both the countries come to terms for a permanent resolution of Jammu & Kashmir issue too. It doesn’t need further emphasis that 2014 is going to be a watershed year for both the countries because of the expected changes in the security and geo-political situations in Afghanistan. That change has deep political and security implications for both the countries. Moreover, both countries are struggling in reducing poverty, stimulating economic growth and dealing with the disturbing implications of an integrated global economic order. The least the two countries would need is a distraction that reverses their economic growth, impedes economic development and poverty eradication. All this strengthens the case why Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his counterpart Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month with a substantive agenda. That agenda must be futuristic, shock proof and immune to the insensible war-mongering that some quarters in the two countries engage on a regular basis.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 6 Sep 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 6 Sep 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 7 Sep 2013 00:00:00 IST




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