Problems between Pakistan and India are among the easiest in the world to remedy but they have not given each other “appropriate chance”, former union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar has said while calling on the two countries to engage in an “uninterruptible” composite dialogue. “The only reason that we could not solve Pakistan-India disputes in 70 years is that we haven’t given each other the appropriate chance,” Aiyar said at the launch of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri’s book ‘Neither a Hawk Nor a Dove’.
Problems between Pakistan and India are among the easiest in the world to remedy, however, one needs to possess a will to do so. The two countries have so many commonalities, Aiyar, who was the keynote speaker at the event, said. Aiyar said whenever the two states engaged in negotiations, casualties along the LoC had gone down while they increased whenever they had disengaged.
He said, an “uninterrupted and uninterruptible composite dialogue” between India and Pakistan should recommence. “Both countries should bring all their concerns to the table and have a conversation,” he was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune. Aiyar said peace-building efforts had been sabotaged after terrorist attacks. Both states should not let the peace process become hostage to those who were least interested in maintaining pacific relations between them, he asserted.
“Pakistan should accept that its soil is being used for terrorism while India should realise that Pakistan is a victim of terrorism. This is evident to Pakistanis but not to Indians,” he said. The former minister, who studied at Cambridge at the same time as Kasuri, said PPP leader Aitezaz Ahsan had once suggested that the Kashmir dispute could only be solved if Aiyar and the ex-Pakistan foreign minister were locked in a room till they had found a solution to this.
“I said that after finding the solution both he and I will be locked in separate rooms forever,” Aiyar said amid peals of laughter. Aiyar said he had arrived in the city two months before Kasuri did, referring to the difference between their ages. “This makes me a little bit more Lahori than him,” Aiyar, who is Lahore-born, said in a lighter vein.