EIGHT members of the executive council of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) recently visited Pakistan on the invitation of Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. It should ultimately lead to a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue, the bone of contention between the two countries.

Since the bilateral relations between the two countries were stalled in the wake of the Mumbai carnage in 2008, this step is certainly in the right direction.

Since 2004 the peace process between India and Pakistan provided an ideal forum to tackle core issues and improved the decades-old mistrust through confidence-building measures but it got derailed after 2008.

Now the two sides do agree that resolution of the Kashmir issue is the priority for both the countries. The dialogue process will also narrow down the differences on Sir Creek, Siachen glacier, etc.

Some Indian media hawks and hardliners, who want to derail the peace initiative, adopt restraint and overcautious attitude towards the trip of the APHC leaders.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that India wanted to resolve all issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir issue, with Pakistan through dialogue. New Delhi and Islamabad announced on Feb 10 that they would resume full peace talks which were suspended in the wake of the Mumbai episode.

Experts say a large majority of Indian people want peace to prevail so that the pace of economic prosperity continues. It is strange that some segments of the Indian media have started a negative campaign against the visit of APHC leaders.

Some hawks from India do not want improvement of relations between Pakistan and APHC leaders but we should thwart their designs. Pakistan has the same old stand on Kashmir. We sincerely want the Kashmir issue to be resolved according to the wishes of the Kashmiri people and according to our wishes. We want the solution as given in the UN Charter.

Our media needs to rise to the occasion and take necessary action/steps so that the prevailing developments in the peace initiatives do not go to waste.

M. AHMED Karachi

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