Addressing a Parliamentary delegation from Pakistan, led by member of Pakistan Parliament Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, which called on him at Rashtrapati Bhawan yesterday, the President said,”India wants more people-to-people contacts between the two countries as it is a powerful way to build and strengthen the constituency of peace in both countries.”
Welcoming efforts to achieve full normalization of trade by the end of the year and Pakistan’s decision to transition to a ‘negative’ list for imports from India, the President said,”an appropriate conducive atmosphere needs to be created to tackle the more complex, difficult issues.”
Describing terrorism as the biggest threat to peace and tranquility, the President said,” Terrorism respects no boundaries and causes wanton destruction. No one in the world is safe from terrorism. Action should be taken before it become unmanageable.”
Expressing happiness over greater interaction between the Parliaments of the two countries, Mr Mukherjee said, “elected representatives in both countries have an important role to play in efforts to build good neighbourly ties.” Leader of the Pakistani delegation said exchange of Parliamentary Delegations will contribute to improvement in relations. He welcomed the revival of dialogue and said bilateral trade would benefit both sides. He said Pakistan is also facing terrorism. Their leader Benezir Bhutto fell victim to a terrorist attack. “Terrorism cannot be solved by one country alone. The whole world has to fight against terrorism,”he said.
Meanwhile, Urging Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan to break the political stalemate between the two neighbours, the Communist Party of India (M) today said the peace process should not be overturned because of domestic compulsions. Addressing a public meeting at Arreh in South Kashmir, the CPI(M) state secretary Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami observed that time is running out for both India and Pakistan to sincerely change their foreign relations paradigm.
“For Dr Singh, in the twilight of his political career, the latest invitation from Pakistan President perhaps provides him a chance to be magnanimous and go down in the annals of history as a statesman, not a mere politician,” remarked Tarigami. Reminding Dr Singh of his announcement made last month that he was ready for a visit to Pakistan as the move would prove fruitful, Mr Tarigami said the visit would signal a visible thaw in Pakistan- India relations, which had deteriorated after Mumbai attacks.
“I earnestly appeal to Dr Singh not to get swayed by the domestic political compulsions and visit the neighbouring country to prove to be the fruit of behind-the-scenes diplomatic engagement between the two countries since the attack,” he added. He said dialogue process between India and Pakistan needs impetus but simultaneously there is need to address the internal dimensions of the problem.
“Dialogue between India and Pakistan will remain inconclusive unless the political aspirations of Kashmiris are included in the same,” he said. Urging New Delhi and Islamabad to give up rigidity on their stated positions on Kashmir and show statesmanship to resolve the problem for the prosperity and peace in the region, Tarigami said besides taking concrete efforts for rapid development across Line of Control (LoC), initiating a meaningful dialogue with the voices of dissent was inevitable for amicable resolution of Kashmir problem.