‘Singh-Gilani bonhomie something fresh’


It was for the first time in the history of India and Pakistan that a sitting Indian prime minister was all praise for his Pakistani counterpart and termed him “the man of peace”, Indian parliamentarian Mani Shankar Aiyar said on Saturday.
“It was a historic moment for people of both countries that our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh praised your Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani for his efforts to bridge the gap between us,” he said while talking to the media after speaking at an international conference on “The situation in South Asia-Global and Regional Implications” organised by the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST).
Referring to the recently concluded 17th SAARC summit in Maldives, Aiyar said that he has always advocated the
need for “uninterrupted dialogue between the two countries”. “It is a good omen that leadership from both sides are seeking peace for the people and even your Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar advocated the same cause,” he said while replying to various queries.
He said that it was an open message to ‘non-state elements’ that they have been exposed and could not hinder the current peace process between Pakistan and India.
“We need to achieve the peace agenda at the earliest,” he maintained. Aiyar was of the view that Pakistan
should have granted the most favoured nation status to India much earlier.
“Instead of trade between Pakistan and India via Dubai, it would be much better to have direct commercial links
between our two countries,” he added.
Earlier the conference was also addressed by former foreign secretary Najamuddin Shaikh, defence analyst
Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, economist Dr Kaiser Bengali and scholars from Canada and France.