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Weekly Shohrat International

Published Date: Mar 14, 2014

Gains of Pak-Indian peace process substantial: Indian diplomat

Indian High Commissioner TCA Raghavan has
said that even if there are not many achievements in South Asia, but
the gains of the dialogue process are substantial which included
significantly improved atmosphere of travel, trade and people-to-people

interaction and opening up of cross LoC travel and trade.
was answering questions at a special lecture on  "Trends in
India-Pakistan relations" organised by Sustainable Development Policy
Institute (SDPI) here.
He said that sustained engagement does reap
result and referred to ceasefire and commitment that territory would not
be allowed to be used by terrorists against each other. He called for
seeing solutions not as events but rather as process. He said that issue
of terrorism cannot be ignored but it is possible to forge
relationships. He said that technology has reduced the ability to
demonise and allows more interaction and expansion of diasporas. He said
that to abolish mass poverty in India, we need to keep economy growing
at 8-10% each year. Socio-economic transformation of India should be
priority of foreign policy, he opined.
In the question hour, a
participant questioned about harsh visa regime for scholars, students
and intellectuals. A former vice-chancellor said that unless
people-to-people contact is established between India and Pakistan, the
relations between the two countries cannot improve. The Indian high
commissioner said in the last few years, they began with very low level
cooperation and admitted that progress was not substantial but “the
direction is to ease and change visa and trade sides.” He said the two
PMs established rapport but LoC situation deteriorated very rapidly. He
said Mumbai incidents are very important for Indian public opinion. He
said that even Canadian water and river relations are also not that
smooth. He said that they should look at events at Agra Summit more
clinically. He said progress is expected in ameliorating visa regime
between two countries. Earlier, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, executive
director, SDPI, said peace process has traveled from Track-II to public
level so that the feedback of the people at large may be added to it.

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