Pakistan India Relations
As seen in “The Nation” newspaper. Link http://nation.com.pk/archives/May-20-2008
Pakistan-India relations since independence have been the victim of oscillations between short-lived periods of euphoria and raised expectations followed by long intervals marked by disappointment, strains, tensions and even armed conflicts. Consequently, both the countries continue to suffer from mutual mistrust, their bilateral disputes remain unresolved and their cooperation is circumscribed by severe restrictions and limitations.
The assumption of power by the newly elected government in Pakistan and the expected commencement of the fifth round of the composite dialogue between Pakistan and India offer an opportunity to the two countries to chart a new course in their bilateral relations. Both Pakistan and India need to avoid short-sighted policies for scoring points or securing short-term gains which resulted in bedevilling their relations in the past and diverting their attention from the gigantic task of eradicating poverty and raising the standard of living of their peoples.
The starting point in the development of a new approach has to be the recognition by the two South Asian nuclear powers that peace between them is a strategic imperative. They can no longer afford an armed conflict because of the inherent risk of its escalation into a nuclear conflagration. The use of force for the settlement of bilateral disputes, therefore, must be ruled out by both Pakistan and India. The composite dialogue between the two neighbours must continue to build up trust and confidence, establish a strategic restraint regime, develop mutually beneficial cooperation and make progress towards the resolution of disputes.
The steady improvement of relations between Pakistan and India requires some further changes in the way they deal with each other. India, being the biggest country in South Asia, must lead the way by discarding hegemonic designs in the...