‘India and Pakistan cannot afford to ignore each other’

Published: February 16, 2017
Email
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with his Indian counterpart Narendar Modi. PHOTO: AFP

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with his Indian counterpart Narendar Modi. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: Anyone in India who thinks that Pakistan can be isolated is living in a fool’s paradise. India needs to engage with Pakistan in dialogue and collaborate on every level, especially education, said Indian journalist-turned-politician Sudheendra Kulkarni.

He was speaking at a panel discussion on Indo-Pak relations at the Beaconhouse National University (BNU) on Wednesday.

Sudheendra said that he was impressed by the universities in Pakistan. He added India and Pakistan need to collaborate in higher education as billions are spent every year sending students to western countries.

Demarche to New Delhi: Pakistan protests after deaths of three soldiers

“Approximately 0.3 million students go abroad every year for higher education and spend around $10 billion. The amount is more than the higher education budget of the Indian government. We are next to each other and can benefit from higher education institutions in India and Pakistan.”

He advised students of the BNU to forge friendships on social media so that they could better understand the people of each other’s countries. He also told Pakistanis to engage with their Indian counterparts and ask difficult questions to understand them and think of new ways to resolve the tensions between the two countries.

Prominent human rights activist IA Rehman said that during his visits to India, he saw that there was a misconception in India that they would not be allowed to come to Pakistan. He suggested Indians visit Pakistan and see for themselves how the people of the country live.

Pledging army’s support: AJK PM, COAS discuss LoC situation 

“Our future is common and nothing can change that,” he said.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Shafqat Mahmood said that he had been part of the track two diplomacy between India and Pakistan.

“I started with fervour, but very little progress was made in the process. Even those things we thought were doable were not resolved between the two countries. Now things are even worse,” he said. He added that matters were exasperated after the Indian prime minister’s statements and reports of the treatment of Muslims in India. He said that the media was also playing a very negative role and was a huge hindrance in the peace process, especially the Indian media.

“We cannot and should not be held hostage to some people with extreme views,” he added.

Pakistan-India relations had been, for the most part, remained hostile. “Things had taken a turn for the worst with the change of government in India,” said defence analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi.

Pakistan does not want war with India: DG ISPR

Former Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri recounted his interactions with Sudheendra. He recalled the politician was attacked by Shiv Sehna after inviting Kasuri to Mumbai to launch his book Neither A Hawk, Nor a Dove.

“I understand why people are now pessimistic as there are regular attacks on Pakistan by the Indian prime minister. However, I believe that with the military capabilities of both countries, India and Pakistan cannot take an inch from each other by force,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2017.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (6)

  • Haramullah Fattuddin
    Feb 16, 2017 - 10:03AM

    Pakistan needs to make its position relevant by strengthening its position Geo-politically as well as economically. Otherwise what Mr. Sudhindra Kulkarni is saying is irrelevant. Recommend

  • rich
    Feb 16, 2017 - 12:22PM

    india cannot ignore pakistan great words.

    but we are so ur statement was?Recommend

  • Vectra
    Feb 16, 2017 - 12:54PM

    That’s Sudheendra Kulkarni’s personal opinion however other Indian politicians and majority of India’s citizens thinks otherwise.Ok leave aside India now Pakistan is a best friend of China but still why is not a single article on Global Times about Pakistan?? They are giving enough coverage to India every week but why not Pakistan.Is China ignoring Pakistan?Recommend

  • Praful R Shah
    Feb 16, 2017 - 1:03PM

    India has started ignoring Pakistan. India is 800 lb gorilla while Pakistan is puny. Pakistan can not do anything but scream!!!Recommend

  • Shakti
    Feb 16, 2017 - 1:13PM

    This man is living in Cloud Cuckooland !! Who made him an expert on such matters anyway?Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Feb 16, 2017 - 1:40PM

    I was born in Pakistan but live in UK and am a British Citizen.
    I can confirm that no one in West cares about Pakistan and are of the opinion that Pakistan is currently suffering a slow death. Look at the state of cricket and you get the feeling.
    I can therefore conclude that Pakistan needs India but India does not need Pakistan.
    Not sure whether this will be printed.Recommend

More in Pakistan