Modi negates his own peace state­ment

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIAL & COMMENTS -

IN a me­dia in­ter­view, In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has said that his gov­ern­ment was un­der­tak­ing ef­forts for peace with Pakistan. He also claimed that his coun­try al­ways wanted friendly ties with its neigh­bours and that there was no de­bate on that. In the first place, one must wel­come state­ment of the In­dian leader that his coun­try wants to pro­mote peace with Pakistan as this is the only op­tion avail­able for the two coun­tries. There are, no doubt, is­sues and ir­ri­tants but these can also be ad­dressed through a sus­tained di­a­logue and it is through durable peace that the two neigh­bours can ful­fil their agenda of fight­ing poverty and back­ward­ness and con­cen­trate on progress and pros­per­ity of their peo­ple. If Modi means what he says, there is no rea­son the two coun­tries would not en­gage into di­a­logue and re­solve their prob­lems for peace, security and sta­bil­ity of the re­gion and a se­cure eco­nomic fu­ture of their peo­ple. This is be­cause there is not only rec­i­proc­ity but more en­thu­si­asm on this side of the bor­der to have nor­mal re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries. This is par­tic­u­larly so in the case of Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif who started of­fer­ing good­will ges­tures to India even be­fore as­sump­tion of of­fice and af­ter­wards also demon­strated vi­sion and pas­sion for peace in the re­gion. His­tory bears tes­ti­mony to the fact that he opted to ex­er­cise ut­most restraint even in the face of ex­treme provo­ca­tion from the other side both in terms of harsh and bul­ly­ing state­ments and mil­i­tary pos­ture. It is also un­for­tu­nate that while try­ing to es­tab­lish his peace cre­den­tials, Prime Min­is­ter Modi also re­sorted to his favourite line of ac­tion – hurl­ing threats – as he added in the same breath dur­ing the in­ter­view that his forces at the bor­ders have ‘full free­dom to an­swer back’ in what­ever man­ner they have to. We wish Modi re­al­izes that these shal­low state­ments and out­bursts are not help­ful for the cause of peace and he will have to demon­strate sin­cer­ity by ex­tend­ing a gen­uine hand of friend­ship to Pakistan. The habit of bul­ly­ing Pakistan and run­ning away from di­a­logue must change and in that case New Delhi would not be dis­ap­pointed by Is­lam­abad.

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