Monday, August 15

Pakistan-India must getrid of old thoughts: Nawaz

While reiterating his previously stated stance for initiating probe through a commission into the Kargil debacle, President PML-N Mian Nawaz Sharif has asked both Pakistan and India to move beyond the old thought process for resolving the outstanding issues marring relations between two nuclear neighbours.
While addressing a function ‘Building Bridges in the Subcontinent’ held in connection with the Independence Day at a local hotel here on Saturday, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif maintained that both countries must resolve all issues through dialogue, and wanted that people-to-people contact should be increased because peace and prosperity in neighbourly states were substantially connected to it.
He mentioned that the Indian government had probed the Kargil debacle through a commission. “A day will come here as well when a commission will probe the war, and then doors will be closed forever,” he maintained, while mentioning India’s ex-premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee stating that by waging the Kargil war, Pakistan had stabbed in his back. “If I would have been in Vajpayee’s place, I would have felt the same way,” added Nawaz Sharif.
On this occasion, he talked at length about his last tenure’s successes, both on development and foreign fronts. Nawaz Sharif quoted Vajpayee telling him, “Pakistan considers Jammu-Kashmir issue very seriously, and we (Indians) want to resolve it as well.”
Nawaz Sharif was of the considered opinion that year 1999 could have been declared as the ‘Year of Kashmir issue resolution’ since the time was conducive for resolving all issues. To him, Vajpayee’s visit to Pakistan was a historic one. “I found Indians to be keener than me. I was also, but perhaps bit hesitant,” he said, while observing that the derailed dialogue process had hugely damaged Pakistan.
He thanked India for letting Pakistan become a nuclear power since if the former had not conducted nuclear blasts, Pakistan would not have done it. “Even then, both prime ministers of that time sat together again for bringing peace to the region,” he said.
While mentioning his tenure’s achievements, he specifically cited the Motorway, which he wanted to extend till Kabul from Peshawar, and then to Tashkent from Gawadar. “But I was sent to Jeddah, otherwise it would have been done,” he lamented, while adding that India could have stretched the road to Kolkata. “We must have expanded business ties, and the bilateral issues could have been resolved in due course,” he asserted.
Nawaz Sharif was of the point of view that both countries shared same eating habits, language, culture and other commonalities. “The difference is only of the border,” he averred.
While quoting the Holy Quran, Nawaz Sharif was of the view that both nations in different ways prayed to the same Almighty, who is ‘Rabul Alameen’ not ‘Rabul Muslimeen’. “The demeanour should be of dealing with individuals, which will do good to the progress of both countries,” he opined.
Professor of international affairs Dr Muhammad Waseem asked the audience to remember the sacrifices. He suggested the ‘normalisation’ of relations prior to ‘conflict resolution’. To him, the situation was otherwise between both countries. In order to substantiate his assertion, he gave the Sino-India example.
Indian economist Dr Succha Singh maintained that politically, morally and economically free countries would complete the agenda of independence. He mentioned Europe as a role model for this. He praised Nawaz Sharif for making tangible strides aimed at improving relations between both countries.

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