LAHORE: A lack of trust between Pakistan and India is the major hurdle in resolving core issues such as Kashmir and maintaining lasting peace.

However, the successful continuation of the Indus Water Treaty between the two states indicates the possibilities of settling down core disputes, says Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr T.C.A Raghavan who addressed an event organised by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat) at a local hotel on Tuesday. The talk revolved around the title ‘Prospects of mutual learning on governance and development between Pakistan and India.’

“India is not perturbed over Pak-China cooperation through the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) rather stable Pakistan is in favour of India which wants to achieve its high economic growth with the help of regional stability,” said Mr Raghavan.

He said both countries had their positions on core issues of Kashmir, ceasefire violations along Line of Control and others which was not a new thing. He said despite frictions and differences between the two developing states, politicians from both sides had great ability to address those differences.

The Indian emissary said the success of 50-year-old Indus Water Treaty was evident from how engineers from East and West Punjab negotiated it.

Answering a question raised by one of the participants, he said though Pakistani media had reported that their authorities had evidence of Indian agency RAW’s involvement in Balochistan and Karachi, he had not seen any such evidence.

To another query, the envoy said Indian politicians had the capacity to deal with separatist movements as the latest agreement with Nagaland community bore testimony to the fact that India could handle internal conflicts.

He said terrorism was a central factor in both countries and there should be greater understanding of Indian point of view in Pakistan. He said for Indians the state-of-the-art project of the Islamabad-Lahore Motorway was an attraction, adding that India could benefit from the experience of motorway while Pakistan could learn expertise from India to overcome polio.

Mr Raghavan said both countries had areas to learn from each other like proactive use of RTI Law, eradication of polio, and arid agriculture.

While explaining the best practices adopted by countries, he spoke about the model of Singapore. He highlighted how the government of Singapore had concentrated its efforts on the improvement of one particular area at a time.

He also felt that the process of change could not happen in isolation as the civil society and its pressure on the government was required for the materialisation and implementation of change.

Among those who attended the event were S.M. Zafar former interior minister Moinuddin Haider ambassador Shahid Malik, Tasneem Noorani and F.S. Aijazuddin.

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2015

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