Indo-pak relations – Re-writing history a must, says Nayar

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KARACHI – Veteran Indian journalist Kuldip Nayar has said that the mistrust between the people of India and Pakistan was the main hurdle in developing peace and friendly relations, and re-writing the history based on facts was needed for developing trust. He expressed these views while addressing a reception hosted by the Karachi Press Club in his honour on Friday. “Integrity and prosperity of India depends on integrity and prosperity of Pakistan,” he said. “Strengthening democracy in both countries is a must for resolving problems of the people. Democracy can not run without secularism. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had also said that religion should be separate from state and political affairs.”
Nayar said there were still many difficulties in developing a secular democratic system in India and the civil society of the country was striving for a realistic democratic state. He said he had a dream that the relationship of India and Pakistan gets normalised, and both countries have a joint South Asian Market like Europe. He the common people in India realised and sympathised with the socio economic problems being faced by people in Pakistan.”When I was coming to Pakistan, many people in India were telling me that they needed to do something for betterment of the Pakistani people,” he added. He said it was a matter of fact that India had achieved some improvement in its economy and that was because of democracy and secularism.
Another senior journalist, Jatin Desai, praised the atmosphere and democratic history of the Karachi Press Club.
He said before the Mumbai attacks, four rounds of composite dialogue occurred between the governments of Pakistan and India. “Sir Creek issue was about to be resolved, which would have permanently solved the fishermen’s issues. Had it been resolved, the fishermen of both countries could have avoided further suffering,” he added. He underlined the need for the revival of the judiciary commission. He said in January 2006, India and Pakistan had made a judiciary commission in which four members were nominated by each country. The last meeting of that commission was held in August 2008 and there had been a consensus among all eight members to release fishermen, senior citizens and women on priority. A former member of the Indian parliament, Shahid Siddiqui, said things had been moving towards the positive side since the last 64 years, but some changes had happened suddenly.
“Some global forces do not want improved Pak-India relations for their economic interests,” he said. Member of the Indian Upper House Dr Bhalchandra Mungelkar said an overwhelming majority in both countries wanted normal relations. “India and Pakistan are two nations but one people. We have the same language, culture, language, food, sports, dance, art, architecture. Our problems are also common. For example there is rampant unemployment, more than 30 percent population in India and 39 percent in Pakistan is living below the poverty line. Regional problems are the same, economic disparities are similar. Similarly, an overwhelming majority of population wants peace but there are certain forces and fanatics who do not want the unity,” he said.

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