Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Millions of citizens of India and Pakistan do understand that long lasting peace and harmony between both the countries is vitally important for their mutual prosperity and progress. They certainly felt hopeful that an era of peace would commence when the Indian Foreign Minister went to Pakistan to hold bilateral discussions recently. But, unfortunately, it ended otherwise.

Possibly, the press conference after the bilateral discussions on 15th July,2010 should have been avoided since the discussions between both the countries are in delicate and formative stage , with suspicions and prejudices still to be sorted out and removed. In such conditions, both the foreign ministers were not sure as to what direction the bilateral talks , which is a continuing affair , would take and therefore have to necessarily reiterate their present stand.There is really no point in holding a press conference at this stage and stating their position once again , which have been said several times in many forums in the past.

By holding this press conference, which is premature at this stage, the efforts to create an atmosphere of hope have been defeated and the cause of peace have been lost.

Mr.C.Rajagopalachari, former Governor General of India and one of the wisest of the men that the sub continent has produced in recent times said several years back that to make progress , both India and Pakistan should focus on areas of agreement rather than areas of disagreement. Obviously, wnen the focus would be on the positive aspects of the relationship, an atmosphere of goodwill would emerge that would pave way for settlement of the points of disagreement in an amicable way in the course of time.After all, the problems which are supposed to be most complex have been solved in the past between countries in the world by achieving a change of mind set.This approach would be the Gandhian way to find a permanent solution to the man made vexed issues between India and Pakistan.

It is necessary to keep in mind that there is still enormous good will between the individual citizens of India and Pakistan, as revealed during several person to person contacts in recent times between the citizens of both the countries. This is the area of strength and this approach would be the key to the solution.

In recent times, there have been many occasions when the babies and children from Pakistan have been rushed to India for medical treatment and Indian hospitals treated them with great care. A number of scholars from India and Pakistan have met in many forums and have exchanged pleasantries without any feelings of animosity towards each other. Even in cricket, the competition between India and Pakistan have been by and large healthy.

The best method of fostering cooperation between both the countries is to encourage exchange of students in the universities and also promote trade and technical collaboration as well as cultural exchange programmes, where there would be no place for politics. The well meaning citizens from both the countries should take the initiative to reach each other at every opportunity and should resist the political factors from interfering in their relationships.

Column by:
N. S. Venkataraman

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