Veteran Journalist Mark Tully said on Monday that the problem between India and Pakistan was a creation of the politicians. “As many as 90 per cent people in India and Pakistan want a free access between the two countries like France and Britain. But politicians have been creating the trouble between the two countries,” said Mark Tully, former Chief of Bureau of the BBC in India. He was delivering a talk on themes like — “Partition and its impact on India today”, “Governance in India: How it can be improved”, and “Need for lifestyle change if we are to cope with climate change” — at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Monday.
Dwelling further on the Indo-Pakistan relations, Mark Tully said, “Trade of hostility between the two countries should be stopped and they should have relationship like that of peas in pulao. We are all in danger of forgetting what happened during Partition. We need to keep the memories of Partition alive to reach a more sensible outcome on the current tension and problems between the two neighbours, much on the lines of Israel which always imparts historical memories to the kids.”
Speaking on nationalism, Tully, who is permanently settled in New Delhi, said, “I don’t think that Indians need a government to teach them about nationalism. I believe nationalism should be about being proud of your nation and anxious enough to promote brotherhood of all nations.”
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Talking about Balochistan, Tully said, “India should have nothing to do with Balochistan. It is a serious issue. You can’t go on complaining about Kashmir and then interfere in Balochistan.”
He said that the Uniform Civil Code could be brought but impression should not go around that it was being done as an “anti-Muslim” act. He said that there was too much political interference in the government’s administrative machinery such as police, bureaucracy, and other public institutions that does not allow fair administration.
“Electronic governance would not solve the problem and bring in transparency in governance. I don’t believe that the idea of good governance should be given utmost of importance,” he added further.
Highlighting the dire need to improve the prevailing environment conditions, he suggested, “India is on a roll with the increasing demand of the regional governments to build more and more airports at the regional level. Airplanes leave a heavy carbon footprint in the atmosphere. Instead, we should focus more on improving our rail networks which are at present inadequate and one of the most environment-friendly modes of transport. Railways suit India appropriately keeping in mind the large population in the country.”