Author`s name Margarita Kicherova

Pakistan: Only Peace Talks Can Avoid Another War

After Three Wars, India and Pakistan have little to lose by talking


A few weeks ago, India launched a major peace initiative which has been welcomed all over the world, even by Pakistan itself. Unfortunately, the same old tried and tested dirty political games started again, disappointing both parties. Press releases, interviews and official statements of the concerned states, including both countries’ leaders, are the main reasons which interrupt the peace process in the subcontinent.


In an interview, Pakistan President Musharraf stated that peace talks can only start once the threat to Kashmir has been resolved. Peace must come to Kashmir first, but not on terms and conditions dictated by India.


India is moving slowly regarding the peace talks. To make matters even more complicated was the statement coming out of India concerning Kargil and the implication that military adventurism of that nature is a legitimate instrument for furthering Pakistan's designs on Jammu and Kashmir. It is also unfortunate that President Musharraf has completely overlooked the significance and impact of the universally acknowledged success of the elections in Jammu & Kashmir.


In a reply statement, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee stated in Berlin that the people of these Indian states had already "decided" what they desired during the October 2002 Assembly Elections and that there was no need for any "new decision". India, for its part, was prepared for a dialogue on all issues, including Jammu & Kashmir, added Vajpayee.


The Indian Prime Minister also said in Bihar (an Indian state) that Delhi had made it clear that the problem could be solved only through talks and not war. "War is not a solution. We fought three wars and with what results? Nothing had been gained." Regarding resumption of road communication with Pakistan, the Indian minister stated that tourists with a valid passport and visa would be welcomed, but not those seeking to illegally enter the country.   


In fact, it is a well-known fact that stopping cross border terrorism and infiltration into Kashmir is a basic Indian requirement that needs to be addressed by Pakistan before Indo-Pakistani relations begin to improve. However, the newly elected Pakistan Prime Minister has openly stated that the Pakistani Army and other concerned agencies are currently unable to stop the infiltration of terrorists into Kashmir, despite their best efforts.


Obviously, President Musharraf has himself referred to the lack of trust between the two countries. It is clear that the first step should be to expand economic, cultural cooperation and people-to-people contacts as a means to generate an atmosphere of understanding, trust and confidence. Unfortunately, his dismissal of the importance of these steps only shows the vicious circle in which India-Pakistan relations have become trapped.


In particular, the first important steps that have been taken are measures to put an end to cross-border infiltration and terrorism. This first step can be the basis of creating a foundation for an honest dialogue between the two countries. Today, India and Pakistan as well as world community very well knows that War is not a solution. The only best and practical way is PEACE TALK that's all.


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