Special Correspondent | Caravandaily.com
NEW DELHI — Former diplomats and former military generals have pitched for the resumption of the stalled peace process between India and Pakistan and opined that both the countries cannot live long without dialogues.
At a panel discussion on ‘Revitalising Indo-Pak Peace-building Efforts’ organized by Aaghaz-e-Dosti, an Indo-Pak Friendship Initiative, they said people in both the countries really want to have peace on both the sides.
Advocating for the resumption of dialogue, the defence analyst and former Air-Vice Marshal (retd) Kapil Kak said the peace process must continue as he talked at length about the 2003-07 wherein the peace process was moving into the positive direction. Calling it a golden period, Kak said during that period aspirations of Kashmiri people were also accommodated to some level. He asked that how long can India or Pakistan continue without dialogues?
“We need to be conscious of the fact that even if there are peace processes, such initiatives are active there, who are going to be spoilers but political leadership will have to be deeply committed to moving forward”, Air Marshal Kak said.
Air vice Marshal (Retd) Naresh Verma, who is also the Director of India International Centre, said if France and Germany, who fought many wars, can become good friendly nations then why India and Pakistan cannot follow suit. He emphasized that peace-building efforts led by people can play an important role in bringing the both countries together.
If France and Germany, who fought many wars, can become good friendly nations then why India and Pakistan cannot follow suit
Surprisingly, Major General (retd) Ashok K Mehta also forcefully advocated for the dialogue process, who is considered as a hawk. He said if track one fails, then track-2 channel of diplomacy must continue. He also informed about his personal efforts in bringing the relations on track and various efforts in this directions. He said that India-Pakistan talk’s breaks down due to either terrorism or Kashmir issue but we need to traverse a long bumpy road for achieving desired results.
“Bada lamba safar hai, par chalte rehna hai”.
Ideas are there, the problem is with implementation. How do we break the ice is the ultimate question, Gen Mehta said.
Former High Commissioner of India in Pakistan, Dr. T C A Raghavan spoke about how principle political leaders have been engaged in the Indo-Pak issue since 1947. He recalled the example of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia with his socialist engagement. Raghavan claimed that even today the discussion process is continued. He was of the view that travel for marriages, multilateral engagements such as cricket have increased to such an extent that it has a cumulative impact. He also suggested that no barriers should be put in culture and literature space.
Senior journalist Rahul Jalali talked about people to people movement of earlier times. He said the platform like Aaghaz-e-Dosti’s role is very important in terms of bringing people on a stage to talk about such important issue. He said because of mutual hostilities the new generation is greatly get affected by it and it is the responsibility ours to engage each other as millions of people who really want to have peace on both sides.
Air Marshal Verma also inaugurated a Peace exhibition prior to the discussion in which letters, greeting cards and paintings of school students from India and Pakistan were displayed.
While highlighting the Aaghaz-e-Dosti’s peacebuilding activities and improving relations between India and Pakistan, its founder Ravi Nitesh said the volunteer group has released a list of prisoners and fishermen who are lodged in jails in India and Pakistan and made it in public portal.