SINCE coming to power Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been constantly sending signals to the neighbouring countries for building of peace and stability in the region and over the past few weeks he repeated his desire in addresses at the United Nations, different forums and during press talks. The other day in Lahore, Nawaz Sharif said he was trying to revive peace talks between Afghanistan and Taiban and wants good neighbourly relations with India.
This reflects his sincerity for peace and development in the region but unfortunately every move of the Prime Minister is rebuffed by India under one excuse or the other. After a lot of ground work, Pakistan succeeded in bringing the Afghangovernment and Taliban at the negotiating table but the leakage of the death ofMullah Umar by India and its agents in Afghanistan simultaneously put on hold the process. Similarly New Delhi backed away from the Foreign Secretaries andNational Security Advisors talks that were agreed upon between Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi. In addition, elements in Afghan government, sympathetic to India are leveling unsubstantiated charges against Pakistan and the most recent one was the allegation that Pakistani officials were advising Taliban when they captured northern strategic city of Kunduz, which was strongly rejected by Pakistan. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan during his press conference in Quetta on Saturday rightly advised Afghan leadership not to speak in the language of Pakistan’s enemies. President Ashraf Ghani, after taking over, tried to distance himself from the policies of his predecessor but it now appears that he is not so strong to get rid of pro-Karzai elements in the government. We strongly believe that it is time that President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi give a serious thought to the signals emanating from Pakistan and positively respond to offers of negotiations in the interest of teeming millions who are suffering from conflict and poverty.