Speakers at a conference on Thursday were of the view that there was no hope for an immediate resolution of the Kashmir issue given the inflexible attitudes prevalent in India and Pakistan.
They said Pakistan needs to pursue a step-by-step approach to normalise tie with its eastern neighbour with caution, according to a press release. Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) President Sohail Amin, a former ambassador said despite their diametrically opposed stances India and Pakistan had to find a way to remove obstacles to the peace process for progress in the subcontinent.
Dr Khalid Rehman from the Institute of Policy Studies quoted “India Poll 2013,” according to which 87 per cent Indians wanted an improvement in Indo-Pak relations for which they stressed courageous leadership on both sides. In the survey, 76 % agreed that India should take the initiative which according to him could be seen as a positive point for composite dialogue.
Chief guest Ambassador (retd) Khalid Mehmood said India’s sore point is its human rights violations which Pakistan must present at world forums to support the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. Giving up Pakistan’s principled position is not an option, he added. “There is no easy solution to the Kashmir issue.”
National Defence University Dean Dr Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema said India had mastered the evasion technique to wriggle out from unfavourable situations. Musharraf’s soft border approach could help in softening rigid attitudes in the subcontinent which Pakistan requires for revival of its economy, said speakers.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2014.
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