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Mufti Sayeed had tried unsuccessfully promote people to people contact
2/11/2019 10:58:44 PM

Former ambassadors and former diplo
mats supported people to people contact between India and Pakistan. This is not feasible because of the anti-India policies being followed by Pakistan. In fact former Chief Minister, Mufti Mohd. Sayeed, had mooted people to people contact between the two sides and in this connection two routes were reopened first via Uri and Muzaffarabad and later Poonch side. And these two routes were converted into trade between the two sides. Initially couple of buses were meant to ferry people from both the sides. However, the number of buses was reduced when there was no cooperation from people. To begin with relations who were separated by the partition crossed the LoC to meet their estranged relations. The people to people contact was established in 2005 but later it ended with hardly any relation coming from across the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and not many from Kashmir visited the PoK. Now after the experiment ended in a fiasco now the prominent diplomats and national security experts of the country have favoured more "people-to-people" contact to ease the strained relations between India and Pakistan, saying "it will sort out a lot of misgivings and misconceptions among the people on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC)".
The experts had gathered to deliberate on the theme, 'Transboundary Issues in South Asia-Indus Water Treaty (IWT) and Indo-Pak Relations', during a day-long seminar organised by the department of national security studies, Central University of Jammu in his address, former Ambassador G Parthasarthy advocated for youth-exchange programmes to clear the "misgivings and misunderstandings" on both sides of the LoC. When Pakistan and its Army are engaged in resorting to ceasefire violations for the purpose of pushing groups of militants into the Kashmir valley for raising the level of violence. What guarantee has these experts against Pakistan not sending youth for indulging in violence. Parthasarthy firmly believes that at some stage when things calm down, the best way for the youth on both sides of the LoC would be to meet. Having been on the other side of the LoC, I think a lot of misgivings and misunderstandings about India will be sorted out when we have youth-exchange programmes," Parthasarthy said. Parthasarthy is right when he says let the first calm envelopes the border then only the situation become feasible for arranging exchange programme?
The former Ambassador said the "aam aadmi" (common man) on the other side of the LoC (Pakistan) wanted to live a peaceful life. "We should be very clear as how we are going to deal with Pakistan. Don't treat every Pakistani as a bad guy," he said, adding that "we (India) need to be upfront while dealing with Pakistan". Former Ambassador TCA Raghavan, who is also the director general of the Indian Council for World Affairs, said a "holistic policy" would help both nations to prosper. "The inconsistencies in the bilateral ties will remain but there is an enormous potential for encouraging people-to-people contact and having a restricted visa policy is not a holistic approach to deal with Pakistan," he said. Raghavan said the encouraging contact between academicians, political class, scholars and journalists of the two sides had to be an "intrinsic part" of India's policy. Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain, Chancellor, Central University of Kashmir, spoke on the military perspectives on the Indo-Pak relations, saying "Pakistan's aim is to prevent India from achieving its aspirations besides keeping India militarily and diplomatically imbalanced". Yes, Lt Gen Hasnain is right when he talks about some misgivings between the two sides. And he is right when he says that Pakistan will not allow India to grow militarily and promote friendly relations with super powers.
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