CAN MODI & SHARIF USHER A NEW ERA IN INDIA PAKISTAN RELATIONS ?
During his recent show Southasian Pulse, Group Editor Yudhvir Jaswal said the breathless anticipation ended as the Swearing ceremony of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi was finally attended by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who was under immense pressure from the hardliners but he broke all the shackles and came to India with his wife, son and a high profile delegation to cement the ties with India . The BJP has long advocated a tough stance on Pakistan, and Modi has been seen as a hardliner on issues of national security. In that respect, Modi’s invitation to Sharif was a surprise and raised hopes for a thaw in relations, which have been particularly frosty since the Mumbai attacks. Nawaz said: “Pakistan wants good relations with India and I am going
to New Delhi with a ‘message of peace’.” Nawaz further stated in an interview that he thinks he can work closely with Modi. He said this move will mark a new era in the relationship of the two countries that desire not only peace but wish to enhance trade on strong footing. After the 50 Minute meeting with Indian PM , Sharif said “I conveyed to PM Modi that it was important for us to work together for peace. I urged that we had to strive to change confrontation to co operation. We hope our people overcome the legacy of mistrust and misgivings… I had a constructive meeting. It was held in a warm and cordia atmosphere. It should be historic opportunity for both our countries… I expressed to Modi that we have a common agenda of development that cannot be fulfilled without peace. PM Modi warmly reciprocated my sentiments and remarked that my visit to Delhi was seen as a special gesture by the people of India.” Meanwhile, several Indian politicians and even media have esteemed Nawaz’s bold step and extolled his decision of attending Modi’s swearing-in ceremony. Dr Ranvir Sharda also lauded the move on Southasian Pulse Radio saying that he thought Nawaz Sharif might not accept the invitation but in doing so he has reiterated his position as a leader who enjoys massive support of his people and a mature leader who can make independent decisions. He said it was great that Sharif listened to the saner and articulated voices of his country, blunted extremist onslaught and defying all odds did what few in Pakistan would dare. Sharda further added that Modi means business. Everyone also knows that he has the mandate to set his own foreign policy – and make it stick. With Manmohan Singh as the PM, Pakistan always had to wonder if what he says will hold with Sonia Gandhi or the Congress party. In Modi’s case they know that he will be able to push his agenda with his party and parliament. As an able politician,he make the right judgments on what will work. Yudhvir said though Congress initiated showed annoyance on extending the invitation to Pakistan, but the party changed its stance and Congress leader Rashid Alvi stated: “It is good news that he is visiting India. It is an opportunity to hold meeting with him and important issues should be raised.” Yudhvir maintained that was the only way for the two nations to move forward as both countries have much to gain. Both must forget about previous issues and usher a new era in Indo-Pak Relations. Dr Sharda agreed saying media also can also play a major role but unfortunately some sections of press are still on a maligning spree and conflate hostility. He appreciated the media that always talks of peace and friendship. Yudhvir said that today to avoid conflicts between two countries Instead of Nuclear deterrence the Trade relations can help in avoiding conflicts. Pakistan can gain immensely if the India opens its market of a billion plus consumers. India also benefits with peace and stability in the region as the investor will be lot more confident in investing in a region where they feel confident of returns. The meeting between Modi and Sharif is historic and this will mark a start of a new relationship between India and Pakistan