Gateway to Peace

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Airing a vow for peace, public representatives and opinion makers of India and Pakistan went into a brainstorming session at the two-day conference in Islamabad Sunday to ease tension in South Asia.

The moot–at its opening session–heard a brisk n’ breezy message of the Indian premier, Atal Behari Vajpayee calling for ‘an end to bloodshed in the region’. ‘Violence and bloodshed cannot provide any enduring solutions. We can live together only if we let each other live’, a zestful Vajpayee said in his memo to a ‘galaxy of intellectuals’–being attended by more than 100 delegates from Pakistan and India.

This peace assemblage–sponsored by the South Asia Free Media Association [SAFMA]–, brings both hawks and doves to a singular podium. An alluring facet of this get-to-gather is that for the first time right, left, hardliners and moderate parties from the two nuke-neighbours are partaking in ‘fabulous dialogue’, on the upshot of which Indian delegates’ chief MP Laloo Prasad Yadav–seems as ‘optimistic’ as Vajpayee.

Every pragmatic soul views the newest style of ‘adore for peace’ of Vajpayee and almost an identical pose by the sagacious emblem of Bihar, Laloo gets translated into a reality–at least with an instant end of a reign of terror, unleashed by India on the guiltless people of the forcibly held part of the fascinating Himalayan State of Jammu n’ Kashmir–followed by a sweet n’ cute consent for a meaningful dialogue to bring the a perilous course in South Asia to a permanent end–which is, by all realistic perceptions possible via the amiable solution of all the problems–with Kashmir dispute atop.

As for Pakistan, every peace-loving nation around the globe fully understands that President Pervez Musharraf has–time n’ again–beamed a categorical invitation to India to come to the table of talks–any time, any where and at any level–to get the irritants in ties evaporated for the eventual affluence of this part of the Atlas.

At the same time, the President has always made crystal-clear that Pakistan shall never compromise on its national interests as well as vis-a-vis its illustrious n’ bona fide standpoint on globally-acknowledged–Kashmir dispute, which, by all parameters of realism reflects the real aspirations of the chivalrous Kashmiris.

Only recently, the Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali–in an interaction with BBC–aired to the world that there is no other option for India and Pakistan but to seek peaceful and negotiated settlement of the core issue–Kashmir.

A birds;-eye on the index of the South Asian history would–transparently–reveal that India and Pakistan have fought wars in the past and have remained in a state of perpetual confrontation since their independence in 1947.

The two nuclear rivals were locked in a prolonged military stand-off with about a million troops in eyeball-to-eyeball deployment till last year. Yet the issue of Kashmir that has bedeviled their relations over the decades is still unresolved. It continues to consume the economic resources of both the countries–more explicitly that of India which is still engaged in fanatic collection of arsenal of mass-destruction without any rime or reason, even at he cost of its famished citizens–living far below the poverty-line.

The fact is that neither of the two countries can force a military solution of this festering issue. India has repeatedly tried to do so, but has miserably failed. Pakistan has persistently demanded dialogue to address the issue peacefully, despite Indian provocations n’ a belligerent posture.

Pakistan’s realistic viewpoint that there is no other option for the two countries but to seek a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute–is well-accepted all-over even by the ‘masters of today’s world’–including the apex leadership of the United States. It, therefore, represents an objective and pragmatic approach to peace in South Asia in general and positive relationship between the two countries in meticulous.

India, as a bigger country–in size–is ought to depict the real icons of open mindedness–in place of going for a hideous course–by bending before the rock-hard will of the Kashmiris for seeking their birth right of self-determination–as is enshrined in the UN resolutions on Kashmir at any cost–come what may. This is the only way for making sure an ideal tranquil ambiance in South Asia, for which the Indian PM has sent a message of ‘love for peace via the moot in session.

Pakistan stands for peace in the region and has already made series of positive overtures to seek a peaceful resolution of the foremost Kashmir issue. It’s now India’s turn to respond positively to Islamabad’s initiative to this effect.

We hope that Mr Vajpayee–if serious in his own ‘fragrant’ words–will now-on tag the peace process by shedding the typical rhetoric–based on egoism n’ arrogance–and would instead come to the table of a face-to-face dialogue for resolving the Kashmir issue to get vanished all risks n’ perils like the Indo-Pakistan confrontation–at-once. Such a loom n’ impend is the only gate-way to peace in South Asia.

This way both the countries can re-phrase their resources with fresh n’ fabulous priorities by opting for the socio-economic uplift of the region to ameliorate the over-all lot of their masses, who are too eager to see such an amiable scenario–in the quickest possible time. Its’ a 21st century epoch wherein every civilized nation has full-size loath for all types of scuffles n’ skirmishes and love n’ adore for peace with tranquility towards each dimension.

The author is a noted journalist, political analyst and ex-Director News Pakistan TV. He is a regular contributor to Media Monitors Network (MMN).

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