Mainstream, VOL LX No 36 New Delhi, August 27, 2022
PIPFPD urges Pakistan and India need to resume bilateral ties and dialogue for Peace
Friday 26 August 2022#socialtags
PAKISTAN INDIA PEOPLES’ FORUM FOR PEACE AND DEMOCRACY
PIPFPD (India) Office: 267 A, Saiyadain Manzil, Gulohar Ave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi -110025
Phone:+91 9868165471|Email- pipfpd.india[at]gmail.com
25th August 2022
“War is no Option”. PIPFPD urges Pakistan and India need to resume bilateral ties and dialogue for Peace.
We the members of Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy take note of the recent statement of Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif that, “We want permanent peace with India through dialogue as war is not an option for either of the countries”.
We urge the government of India to respond to Shehbaz Sharif’s overtures in a positive manner, and to resume the suspended dialogue process and settle all outstanding disputes in a peaceful manner based on the principles of “equity, justice and mutual respect”.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while congratulating Sharif on his election as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, had said that India desired normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. Indian authorities have been intransigent linking any engagement with the ‘terror’ issue.
PM Sharif, in his statement emphasised that Islamabad and New Delhi should focus on addressing common issues of poverty, competition in trade, economy and improving the conditions of their people. Mr Sharif is a pragmatic former businessman, and on taking over as Prime Minister, was expected to give priority to economic relations. Also, this is in accordance with remarks made earlier by the Pakistan army chief General Qamar Bajwa on prioritising the narrative of “geo-economic integrations from that of geopolitical contestation”. However, intransigence on the part of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, had constrained any opening.
A structured dialogue between India and Pakistan has been suspended since the Mumbai 2008 terror attack for which Pakistan based terror group was held responsible. Relations between the two countries further deteriorated after India abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019.
India’s decision evoked a strong reaction from Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties, expelled the Indian envoy, and virtually snapped all other ties. It is unfortunate that both India and Pakistan have viewed Kashmir as a territorial dispute and ignored the aspirations and desires of the peoples of all regions of the former Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir.
In the context of peaceful ties with India,Sharif said “a just and peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people, was indispensable”. We believe that India and Pakistan need to start a dialogue with each other and also with the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir.
Hostile relations between the two neighbours have affected India and Pakistan’s diplomatic and economic opportunities, held back the advancement of a peaceful and prosperous South Asia, reinforced external and internal security concerns and strengthened anti-democratic trends. For the people of India and Pakistan the snapping of ties has imposed difficulty in having people to people relations, which the governments of both countries have iterated as important.
Border communities, separated families, fish workers arrested in each other’s territorial waters - suffer immensely due to the lack of genuine dialogue between the two neighbours. Educational and cultural exchanges and interaction between Indian and Pakistani journalists and other professionals are all captive to an ultra-nationalist and militarised atmosphere between the nuclear countries.
PIPFPD states that in the post pandemic era, amidst a snowballing economic crisis, India and Pakistan must prioritise inclusive economic growth, public education and public health.
9868165471 / pipfpd.india[at]gmail.com