The cold war insanity 

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Prime Minister Imran Khan once again expressed his government’s willingness to get engaged in talks with India and accused the Modi government of arousing anti-Pakistan sentiments just to win forthcoming parliamentary elections in India. The current government’s approach to strike a permanent peace deal with arch-rival India is laudable and now it is responsibility of the Indian government to reciprocate these actions by agreeing to hold talks with Pakistan. The Prime Minister also laid emphasis on the fact that two nuclear-capable states cannot even afford a cold war, let alone nuclear war.

The two countries simply cannot afford a confrontation on a full-scale because as nuclear-armed states they both face mutually assured armaggedon. Differences of the two countries must be settled on the negotiating table and curbing cross border attacks is the first step towards normalizing conditions necessary for talks to reopen. Point scoring can only satiate the appetite for jingoism and provide a fleeting distraction from the hardships of real issues. This is not a path that is of interest to either Pakistan or India. A peaceful and prosperous South Asia is the only way that the people of Pakistan and India can break their shackles of poverty and achieve real relief from their present condition of despair. The governments of Pakistan and India spend huge budget on the defence sectors. If both states decrease their defence budget and divert a small chunk of this budget to the welfare of common man, it will change the whole fabric of society in both countries. Unless both countries resolve their outstanding issues, they will remain entangled in problems and cannot tackle other challenges. The fact that Pakistan and India are neighbouring states cannot be wished away. Wars never solve any problems but create more. No one can afford war in today’s world. What they need to do is to develop trade and commerce and promote people to people contacts.

There must be an end to the cold war insanity, and serious efforts must be made for the establishment of friendly relations between India and Pakistan. It is the need of the hour that both countries should respect each other and hold a dialogue to resolve all issues. They should join hands for developing bilateral relations, and resolving all outstanding conflicts. It is the responsibility of India to exercise restraint and come forward for holding a dialogue with Pakistan. While it is in the interests of Islamabad to peacefully settle all issues with New Delhi. It is high time that both the rival states should get engaged in the peace process and all contentious issues should be resolved through a meaningful dialogue process. Peace is the only option and way forward. Only a more positive approach to the relationship can give good results for both the neighbouring countries as well as for regional peace.