Want peace between India and Pakistan? Will you push for it?

I wrote this piece last week for The Wire about the ongoing campaign for peace between India and Pakistan. I argued that while the move is unlikely to lead to any great policy change, it is time the citizens of both countries came together to encourage the resolution of all bilateral issues through dialogue. A request to readers who agree to please sign and share the online campaign if you haven’t already done so. Thank you. Also see this powerful call for both countries to talk, from Abdul Basit, the outgoing Pakistan Ambassador to India: Pakistan and India must return to the negotiating table, without further ado and preconditions

Peace Now-Hyderabad

Hyderabad launch on July 1 – Magsaysay awardees Admiral L. Ramdas and Jayaprakash Narayan at the launch. Courtesy: Mazher Hussain, COVA

An excerpt from my piece:

It speaks for the urgency of the situation that many have put aside their reservations about one or other points to endorse the joint statement.

K.R. Venugopal, the former secretary to the prime minister of India and former special rapporteur to the Human Rights Commission of India, had reservations about the fifth point for “equating the parties, as state promoters of terrorism,” but emphatically supports the call, adding his name “in the interest of peace and human security in the sub-continent.” He terms points one, four and seven as “the most vital requirements of the peace process”.

Reservations by Javed Jabbar, a member of the Pakistan Senate Forum for Policy Research and former federal information minister of Pakistan, form an interesting counterpoint to Venugopal’s comments. Jabbar objects to “How easily discourse has adopted terms like ‘cross-border terrorism’ and ‘non-state actors’” – terms that are almost always used for Pakistan although the “Indian state agencies have been continuously involved in both those realms,” he says.

Endorsing the resolution for the sake of the larger cause he said “it is important that such a collectively expressed will for peace-building is publicly shared.”

Read the complete article at The Wire website.

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