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Indo-Pak talks

June 28, 2011


INDIA and Pakistan are pushing ahead with a peace process that stalled after the 2008 Mumbai attacks. This was indicated in two-day secretary level talks concluded in Islamabad on Friday. The officials talked on terrorism, regional peace, and controversial issues between the two countries.

The joint communiqué and press conference that followed the talks served to emphasise the resolve to carry the revived post-Mumbai process forward and said two countries could not live under the shadow of the gun.

Compared with the talks on Siachin held last month, these talks were held in very congenial atmosphere. Although there was no breakthrough, yet this cannot be expected so early in case of these two countries. If talks continue with this spirit, it is hoped both sides will reach the positive conclusion that a long war-like situation and enmity can not benefit any one.

One of the important aspects of this entire process is that the talks should be given concrete shape. All the joint statements issued after such talks say 'talks and more talks', while the people are waiting for friendly relations and trade ties between the two countries. When the outcome of talks is only further talks, they are disappointed.

If both are agreed on peace, why they are not serious in practicing this? Why have the two countries not solved disputed issues yet?

This is the core point. There seems to be a problem of intentions and seriousness. The two countries cannot resolve their problems by using diplomatic jargon. Unless there is a spirit of friendship, both sides will continue the talks.

We subscribe to this idea: Indo-Pak relations, regional peace, confidence building and the Kashmir issue can only be solved through talks. At the same time, merely continuing to talk and reiterating commitment to peace while not taking concrete measures will create complications. There is need of responsibility and understanding that the two countries cannot live under the shadow of the gun. — ( June 26 ) n

Selected and translated by Sohail Sangi