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Pakistan-India peace: core issues

August 13, 2013

THIS is apropos Deendayal M. Lulla’s letter ‘Agra-born president’ in which he has expressed his desire for a lasting peace between Pakistan and India.

In his exuberance, he has quoted the example of Manmohan Singh, Dilip Kumar and Gulzar being born in Pakistan and our newly-elected president being born in Agra. He emphasised that these factors should be cause enough for the two countries to come closer to each other.

He said that Pakistani food can be found in India and vice versa. He also said that Raymond has been opened in Karachi, fashion designers’ collection is being swapped across both sides of the divide, etc.

Nevertheless, the learned writer has not touched the core issues between the two countries which are a real stumbling block in the cordial and unsuspecting relations between the two countries.

Kashmir may be put at the back burner but the issue is smouldering. Siachen can be frozen deep in the glaciated region but the problem remains cancerous and needs chemotherapy. India stabbed us in the back during the East Pakistan crisis in 1971, while we had spared India during the Sino-India war of 1962.

Some more hardcore problems like Baglihar, Wullar Barrage and Kishanganga hydroelectric power project all are with the intent and purpose of stopping the share of water of western rivers designated to Pakistan under the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 and they remain unresolved.

There are reports that India is helping Baloch militants. The list is long. We Pakistanis are keen to have good relations with all our neighbours but as long as the aforementioned core issues lurk, the possibility of cordial relations will remain a far-fetched hope.

All these problems though seem to be amber, they can prove to be a flashpoint. Kashmir is a ticking time-bomb.