IN my letter titled “Nawaz Sharif’s views” (May 26, 2011), I had written: “The day would be written in golden letters when Pakistanis realise that India is their friend. Nawaz Sharif expressed these feelings the other day in Karachi when he urged Pakistanis to stop looking at India as their biggest enemy. I admire his courage and statesmanship in making this statement to herald a new golden era of mutual friendship. I sincerely hope that Pakistan extends its hand of friendship towards India.”

My admiration for Mr Sharif went a few notches up when he expressed similar feelings a couple of days before the landmark 2013 elections by saying that he would not allow militant groups to attack another country from Pakistani territory and would work to improve ties with New Delhi.

It takes some courage to talk like this on the eve of the general elections.

His triumph in polls shows that most Pakistanis (like most Indians) are in favour of ending the silly old enmity and forge close and lasting friendly relationship with India. Borrowing from President Obama’s inaugural speech, I can say India will extend a friendly hand toward Pakistan if it is willing to unclench its fist.

K B KALE Jakarta

Premature overtures Nawaz Sharif’s overtures to India even before taking the oath was, to say the least, premature and hasty. One does not understand as to what was the urgency for stating that he would go to India even if not invited.

Mr Sharif has been out of touch with what has taken place in our relations with India since October 1999. He was in exile in Saudi Arabia in July 2001 when the Agra summit fiasco took place.

In December 2001 India mobilised the bulk of its forces on Pakistan’s borders in Punjab, Rajasthan and occupied Kashmir. After 10 months of eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation, realising the seriousness of the threat of a possible nuclear war, India later unilaterally ended the confrontation.

The Indian army officially unveiled the Cold Start Doctrine on April 28, 2004. Since then Indians have held 12 exercises to operationally debug it. The doctrine is Pakistan-specific and India plans to act offensively against Pakistan for any perceived acts of strategic destabilisation of India, proxy war and terrorism.

In short, India has said in declaratory terms that it would undertake offensive operations against Pakistan, short of the nuclear threshold.

Today over 70 per cent of Indian forces are deployed against Pakistan. In fact, India has only their 33rd Corps, 3rd Corps and 4th Corps deployed against China and Bangladesh.

Pakistani politicians, journalists and analysts need to look at these cold facts.

The core of our problems with India is the mindset. Kashmir, Siachin, Sir Creek, Kishin-Ganga, etc, are not the basic issues but are the corollary of this mindset.

INAM KHWAJA Karachi

Updated May 15, 2013 08:13am

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Comments (15) (Closed)


SAL
May 15, 2013 01:48pm
Huh! Mr. M.M. Singh has declined to attend Mr. N Shariff's oath taking ceremony, and, here our future PM said he will be the first to accept the invitation. Wait and see NS what lies ahead. I am scared of Pir Pagara's prediction for 2013.
vjjjjjjjjjjj
May 15, 2013 05:44pm
INAM KHWAJA, your on sided view is interesting.
india
May 16, 2013 06:56pm
the only thing we want is a peaceful progressive democratic Pakistan.........with love from india...
United States of India
May 16, 2013 03:52am
It is important to have such positivities for normalisation of relations between the two countries. I'm sure every Pakistani realises that terrorism has done more bad to their country then good & it is time to get united (in real sense) & wipe off extremism from the region. One may think its easy to write than to act. However, the sincere, honest & continued efforts can certainly bring a big change. There are lot more important issues to be looked at rather than nurturing the arch rivalry, which will eventually gain nothing. It is absolute disgrage that politicians in past 65 years have done nothing more than widening the gap between the two countries. The thought of regional peace from Mr Sharif is much appreciated...
Rocky
May 15, 2013 04:41pm
Mutual enmity over the past six decades has only impoverished us. A change of direction is long overdue. Nawaz has indeed shown foresight and leadership to buck the trend set by the naysayers.
Agha Ata (USA)
May 16, 2013 12:14am
Unasked question in this latest context is "What about kashmir?" This question will have to be forgotten; It has to remain unasked for ever otherwise no peace would be permanent.
khalidmurad1
May 16, 2013 07:40pm
It is has been reported that the victory of Sharif Brothers was celebrated more enthusiastically by the Indian Hindus than own people at home. Should we consider that friendly attitude of the terrorists towards Nawaz's election campaign was on the instructions of their Hindu Masters. That must be the reason for Nawaz's haste and urgency to make a thanks giving statement in favor of his freinds. Similarly as per Mr. Barua, the Indian Hindus celebrated Musharraf's arrest and his humiliation at the hands of our Judiciary. Far sightedness and apprehensions of Nawaz should be appreciated, calling India a freind , which has 70 % of their Army deployed against Pakistan. Should we consider Nawaz Bros real Pakistanis and patriot? May Allah Help Pakistan.
RRAO
May 16, 2013 01:58am
Any such kind gestures from Pak is sure sign of something is cooking
Ram
May 15, 2013 03:41pm
Any civilian leader of Pakistan first challenge is to exclude Pakistan Army/ISI from its foreign policy, last time when Nawaz Sharif shake hands with Vajpayee things did not go well for him. I hope he learned his lesson. Zaradari entire submitted foreign policy to Army and never left a country. Once civilan controls Army and sets policy towards progress deep rooted mistrust will fade away, stars are finally aligned and hope Pakistan does not miss this opportunity.
S Zaidi
May 15, 2013 11:04am
welcome nawaz with same old repaired pakistan
george
May 15, 2013 12:55pm
India has never started a war with Pakistan. Ask Mr.Najam Sethi, he will tell you who started the war. Till then, be quiet and enjoy the show.
Tariq
May 15, 2013 11:50am
To have cordial,friendly ties with our neighbors is important but we must not forget what's in our nation interest.
M. Saeed Awan
May 15, 2013 10:08am
Its need of time to melt the ice of hatred and enemity between Pakistan and India. Nawaz Sharif is now seems determined in bringing peace in the region. We fully appreciate his wish for good ties.
Ravi Ingale from University of Pune.
May 15, 2013 09:53am
Nawaz sharif is the only hope after Imran Khan, who have capability to bring Golden Days of Pakistan.
Rashid Sultan
May 15, 2013 09:06am
Congratulations Nawaz Sharif, the 'come back' Prime Minister.