Pakistani and Indian flag — File Photo
Pakistani and Indian flag — File Photo

NEW DELHI: Ahead of External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna’s visit to Islamabad, parliamentarians of India and Pakistan on Friday recommended a clutch of radical confidence-building measures, including allowing travel by citizens across the border in their own vehicles and visa-free access for educationists and senior citizens.

The Pakistani parliamentary delegation held two days of intense discussions with Indian MPs led by Yashwant Sinha, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and a former foreign minister, and Congress party’s Mani Shankar Aiyar.

At the end of the discussions, the fourth India-Pakistan Parliamentarians Dialogue unveiled a slew of recommendations to expand people-to-people contacts and bolster strategic trust between the two neighbours.

Releasing the joint statement, Sinha said the meeting was held in an “extremely cordial” atmosphere and all issues having a bearing on the India-Pakistan relations were discussed.

“The feeling among people of both countries is of friendship and peace... it is quite clear that people of the two countries want to live in peace and prosper together,” he said.

The two-day dialogue focused on easing travel and trade and to create better mutual understanding to improve bilateral ties.

The MPs suggested that India and Pakistan should allow each other’s citizens to travel across the border in their own vehicles and discontinue the practice of police reporting to avoid undue harassment. They recommended visa-free access for educationists and senior citizens.

The MPs also recommended that both governments remove the ban/blockage on showing each other’s news and entertainment channels and pitched for greater exchange of artistes and media persons.

They urged the two governments to spur the implementation of the agreements relating to trade and accelerate the process of finalisation of trade in energy-related products.

Pakistan would respond positively if India provided evidence to it to support allegations that elements based on the Pakistani soil uploaded inflammatory content on websites on Assam violence, Member of National Assembly Khurram Dastagir Khan told reporters.

“If the hate mails are generated or not generated (in Pakistan), it emphasises the reasons why we are here in India as we are here to create a positive atmosphere,” he remarked.

He was reacting to a question on allegations made by India’s Home Secretary R.K. Singh that the home ministry had identified over 100 websites on which morphed images were posted from Pakistan to whip up communal tension in India.

Responding to questions about Hindus from Pakistan crossing over to India due to alleged ill-treatment, Mr Khan said: “As far as we know, no Pakistani Hindu has so far applied for political asylum (here). The government is dealing with it and the Supreme Court has also taken note of it.”

The MPs welcomed the forthcoming meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in Islamabad on Sept 7-9 to review the second round of the resumed dialogue. They urged the two governments to sign the proposed liberal visa regime agreement at the meeting between the foreign ministers.

They also underlined that health-related travel and religious tourism in both countries must be facilitated as a priority by both countries. They observed that the time was ripe to resolve longstanding disputes such as Siachen and Sir Creek.

The parliamentarians also recommended an immediate release of prisoners who have completed their term and humanitarian treatment of fishermen and others who inadvertently cross into the territory or territorial waters of the other country.

By arrangement with the Times of India

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Comments (42) (Closed)


True Indian
Aug 25, 2012 10:22am
Indian govt would be a fool to allow that...
Jawed, Karachi
Aug 25, 2012 11:12am
All these suggestions are well. But what is our military brass' opinion? Parliamentarians may propose. Military has disposed in the past.
Naveed
Aug 25, 2012 03:34pm
You have to start somewhere, problems that you highlight, (good analysis) will be solve by or thru people to people contacts. Our relationship has to be stronger than the next terrorist attack. There should be no visa requirement for citizens born before 1947 and others are issued visas at any border crossing without the requirement of having to report to local police! To start with....
miss A
Aug 25, 2012 08:27am
i m totally agreed Mr. T i want southasia uniity
sreeni
Aug 25, 2012 10:35pm
@ahmed really? is that too much to ask from pakistan. not even one..
tarun
Aug 25, 2012 09:57am
Trade and people to people contact will fail if PaKistan fails to adress radicalisation.Teaching distorted history and hate propoganda in schools and elsewhere will breed voilence and bring no good either for Pakistan or anyone else.
knowtolearn
Aug 25, 2012 10:00am
I pity these overly enthusiastic peace lovers. I love peace too but I am realistic too. Indians cant become friends with Pakistan without a change of heart on both sides. You want unrestricted rides for citizens but what if another Kasab and group strike you with truck-load of arsenal. To come in boat was easy for them, to come in road would be easier. And ofc, nothing will be done to nab them. Canada and US are very good neighbours but that is also because none of their govt has hidden agenda to destroy the other. We need to show our intent to be friends before giving more opportunities for terrorists(they might be 5% but they affect 50% of other country) to attack.
Hamza
Aug 25, 2012 11:07am
Visa free visit will be day dreaming, lets accept the reality that Pakistani visiting Indian relatives back home need to update police stations when they visit different city. and i think its same when Indians visit Pak. Better solution to this is that they assign them a gov pre Paid SIM by visitor which they will track 24x7 and can call them for checking etc. The big doubt on each other citizen is there by governments. The 5% Crazy radical mind on both sides and put 95% in bad position
Madan
Aug 25, 2012 06:27pm
I agree with this writer.
kumar
Aug 26, 2012 01:52am
@Ahmed, What is wrong in what Shankar says. Why is that Pakistan not able to punish anyone?. "We suffer from the same" , cannot be answer - we are talking about nations, not about some school game.
Zeta
Aug 26, 2012 02:56pm
This.
Mohammad Siddique
Aug 26, 2012 05:42pm
Well said, i tend to agree with you 100%
Uma
Aug 25, 2012 09:03pm
Exactly! Agree with you Ahmed.
Ahmed
Aug 25, 2012 08:42pm
Yours is exactly the kind of limited thinking that causes nations to pay the price of living as hostile neighbors.
Mohan Kochicheril
Aug 25, 2012 09:26pm
Very true. Get the blessings of the Military bosses before trying to normalize relation with thy neighbor.
javaid
Aug 25, 2012 12:10pm
Pakistan is not going to gain any thing economically or socially by accepting the dominance of India. very soon we will be so dependent on India that they will occupy the whole country just by waging a economical war with Pakistan.
Shankar
Aug 25, 2012 12:11pm
Let Pakistan punish the Mumbai perpetrators and then I will believe that they want friendship with India. Everybody in India wants friendship with Pakistan, even be able to call them our brothers but nobody in India believes that Pakistan will not use every opportunity to further harm India. Inaction by Pakistan on Mumbai attackers has ruptured trust beyond repair.
anony
Aug 26, 2012 08:04am
Thank you for the eye-opening article Tahir. Hypocracy runs wild in this world.
Ahtasham
Aug 26, 2012 07:26am
You are still 50 years back and not looking growth for both countries people. Upgrade yourself..
zak
Aug 26, 2012 07:24am
Until Indian occupation of Kashmir is resolved all these measures are frutless because Indian intent is clear-anti pakistan. we do not need any raproachment with India but stronger ties with central asia, Iran, Afghanistan. India needs to behave itself for pakistan to even talk to it. No trade whatso ever. Imagine how many RAW agents and hinud terrorists will pour into pakistan to create mayhem-no, no , no!
T.R RATHORE
Aug 26, 2012 10:43am
Dats really a good initiative.,,,,,,,,, we love to explore Specially Punjab in India....................................YES Do it PAK & INDIA.
T.R RATHORE
Aug 26, 2012 10:49am
Road access does not mean dat there would be no check and balance while crossing the borders,There would a system devised on both sides of borders for check IN and check out and special scanning of vehicles.
biomemspac
Aug 26, 2012 05:26am
Shankar, with all due respect, i have made so many friends within India. Me and my indian frends have remained happy. Let us mend and heal each other's wounds without preconditions!
Shankar
Aug 25, 2012 04:47pm
The day Pakistan tries and punishes even one terrorist who perpetrated terrorist acts in India, the trust will grow - until then this is all pure hype - media fodder!
Mr.T
Aug 25, 2012 07:32am
That's tome good news to hear, i wish the visa-free-access traveling or trade should be allowed to all SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries.
Muhammad Younus Butt
Aug 26, 2012 03:15am
Shankar jee did you check your side are there not so many top extremists organisations who are totally working agaisnt Pakistan and these elements are working agaisnt all those who want to bring love,brotherhood and close relations among the dishearted mass of both sides.Did you check yourselt how shamelessly disobey the orders of the u.n..o charters of demand to give right of plebiscite to the indian held people of jummu and kashmir.India is extremist country,but working silently agaisnt Pakistan and there is one open example they helped bengalis to set up another country of their own chioce.and that was very shameful action by India,we condemn and think it a very coward attempts to de-stabilise Pakistan and till now they are sending and helping agents who are working agaisnt Pakistan.
desi
Aug 27, 2012 03:10am
Lodhi saab,I agree,but if we are going to blame someone,we need to blame both India and Pakistan.Kashmir is not a issue Pakistanis and Indians need to be talking about when dealing with the visa and trade issues.By the way I'm a Lodhi myself.You sounded like you are writing from India.
Nauman
Aug 25, 2012 10:58am
Peace is good, trade should be more frequent; however, equality should be maintained. Its seem like Pakistan is pleading to the eastern neighbour for reconciliation. This is absurd. While our premier news websites are displaying the news of parliamentarians visiting the eastern neighbour, there is not a single news item in their major news websites.
Azi
Aug 25, 2012 10:59am
The only thing positive to hear from PPP government.
Tahir
Aug 25, 2012 08:51am
that's funny just want to share indian media report about pakistan and don't forget to read the comment of indian citizens upon that report. http://en-maktoob.screen.yahoo.com/christian-boy-tortured-death-pak-084028255.html just check this out and don't forget to read the comments as well.
Cyrus Howell
Aug 25, 2012 07:43am
Senior Citizens Without Bombs. It's a good wager the Mumbai attackers wanted to start a war, not just kill Indians. When the militants spoil things for everyone they are winning and society is losing.
Janjuah
Aug 26, 2012 02:43pm
Shankar .... keep people of pakistan and the politicians in two different basckets.... or do not waste your energy
Essjay
Aug 25, 2012 01:53pm
Correct. Absolutely correct.
Lodhi
Aug 26, 2012 02:39pm
@ ZAK Get rid of jihadi. Mentality.Due to such hostile thinking Pakistan is failing.
Uma
Aug 25, 2012 01:44pm
Should never have been a separation in the first place <3!
sk
Aug 26, 2012 03:16pm
what about pakistani occupation of kashmir, gilgit and baltistan and chinas occupation of kashmir
Muhammad Younus Butt
Aug 25, 2012 08:18am
This is very positive and constructive suggestions and must be considered seriously without any delay.As the Europe is getting closer and closer with each other,then why we being fron great sub-contnent cannot come closer and forget all the diffirences if we have or had been put on our heads by foreing invaders through various channels.Our language,way of living,education,trditions and much more customs are the same,then why we cannot live togher and co-operate with each other.In that way lots of unnecessary and useless costs on our budget can be decreased and that money can be spent and utilised for the welfare of the common man.Our freindship is long live and if some hurdles come from ouside forces those can reduced by the strorng will power of the both nations jointly and unitedly for the betterment of common people of both countries.
Nunya
Aug 26, 2012 10:23pm
after attacking them 4 times, you think Indians being wary of Pakistan is uncalled for? Pakistan is designated as a terrorist hotspot. The onus is on Pakistan to prove itself first.
Rascal
Aug 26, 2012 10:31pm
My dear peace loving open minded people on both sides.....let's not get ourselves dwell into hateful dialogue of parasites of past in this forum. If you mother taught you hate, you have responsibility to analyze the world's from your own lens. I just want to approach people on both sides who love peace. Love
M. Saleem Akhtar
Aug 26, 2012 11:49am
Right, but it demands open-hearted thinking i.e to let kasmir free, not need to make it the issue of prejudice and country respect. If there is any thing essential that is to perceive things as it they are. After solving our detrimental issues, we'll be in the position of to change those perception which are the origins of incidents, i.e. Ajmal kasab and the core issues of Bluchestan .
ADAM
Aug 26, 2012 01:16pm
The truth is all pakistani people needs to have good relation with India but not all Indians have the same feeling. Because there is no jobs, industries in Pakistan. Economy is shattered running on aid. The main thing Pakistanis want is Indian Visas so they can earn some money in India. Whether its Fashion industry or Bollywood or Medical Treatment or Cricket, All Pakistanins want to come in India. Haa Sorry I missed to write including Terrorist want to come to India and destroys its peaceful atmosphere. If you leave armed forces, No pakistani stands infront of Talented Indian Be it Eduacation, Space, Technology, Industries. The one reply I am expecting to this comment is Pooverty in India. We in India are also having Problems but still we are better in all fields and DONT BOTHER WHAT PAKISTAN DO . But Pakistani Media or society is always compare with india whatever be the issue. Good news is Unlike Pakistanies Indian have started comparing with themselves with US, Chinise whatever be the issue and we are not interested what Pakistan is doing. The results is Today India inspite of its poverty and other problems is space power and sending it exploration to Planet Mars.
raj
Aug 28, 2012 12:47pm
"Hindu terrorist pouring in pak" i must admit.... u have great sense of humor :)