LAHORE: Everyone who believes in peace, love and humility should welcome the statement of Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani when he said that peaceful coexistence with India is important for the well-being of the people of both countries. By reducing defence spending, a considerable amount of resources could be free up and diverted from spending on nuclear weapons to increased allocations of crucial things like health, education, sanitation and access to clean drinking water.
Unfortunately, the forces of dark in both countries have been promoting hatred and warmongering for the last 64 years. The fact is that the people who live in present-day India and Pakistan have lived together for thousands of years and many will agree that they have a culture that is common in many ways. Perhaps, the political and military leaderships of both countries can try and emulate the European Union where countries have come closer, and this has resulted in increased economic cooperation.
For hundreds of years, European countries fought wars with one another. But they managed to leave all that behind, so that their future generations could benefit socioeconomically.
India should reciprocate what the Pakistan army chief has said and withdraw troops from Kashmir and Siachen. Both countries should liberalise their visa regimes so that people-to-people exchange can take place at a far higher level than at present.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2012.