CARETAKER Prime Minister retired Justice Nasirul Mulk has reiterated that Pakistan was committed to peaceful and good neighbourly relations with India on the basis of sovereign equality. Talking to Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood, he stressed the importance of sustained engagement and peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan, including Kashmir dispute, for durable peace and stability in South Asia.
The views expressed by the Caretaker Prime Minister are clear testimony to the fact that irrespective of change of government, there is a clear preference in Pakistan to have peaceful relationship with our eastern neighbour. This has been the policy of Nawaz Sharif government, the interim government is reaffirming the pledge and commitment and whoever forms the next government after general elections would also hopefully follow the same policy. This is evident from the speeches and interviews of major political leaders and parties as all of them are speaking responsibly on the issue despite the fact that we are passing through brisk election mode where passions are exploited for the sake of attracting voters. We witnessed that this happened in almost all elections in India where Pakistan bashing was one of the major stunt of all major political parties. As against this, Pakistan genuinely believes that there can’t be progress and prosperity sans peace and security. It is, however, regrettable that India has not been responding to the goodwill gesture of Pakistan and instead misses no opportunity of inflicting harm on Pakistan. The Indian army is engaged in almost daily violations of ceasefire on Line of Control and the Working Boundary while its diplomats are busy in propaganda campaign to malign Pakistan on account of terrorism. India’s attitude and seriousness can be gauged by the fact that it is scuttling efforts of Pakistan to host SAARC summit and is least interested in resumption of stalled dialogue process. India must engage with Pakistan meaningfully to resolve longstanding disputes as there can’t be sustained peace without addressing the root causes of tension and conflict.