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People-To-People Contact In Indo-Pak Relations

People-To-People Contact In Indo-Pak Relations

by Dr. Ravindra Kumar

In these days of globalization when healthy relations in every walk of life and based on mutual cooperation among the all nations of the world have become inevitable for genuine progress, it is the demand of time that political and economic relations betwixt India and Pakistan are set right; and in this regard people-to people contact, as wished by Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, the Chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance and the President of the Indian National Congress, can prove to be effective to a large extent.

Last week, during her Kashmir visit, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi while addressing a women conference at Srinagar, underlying the need for establishing and maintaining healthy relations betwixt India and Pakistan, said that it could be possible only through the gradual promotion of people-to-people contact, and it was in this very chain that confidence-building measures like the opening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Road was done.

No doubt, Mrs. Gandhi’s statement is notable and worth giving a thought, because to a great extent the credit goes to the people-to-people contact at different levels and in various walks of life that relations betwixt the two neighbours have improved in recent years. And, this process must go forward. Especially contacts between academicians, educationists and artists can play a vital role in this process. Moreover, organization of tournaments having those games nucleus which are quite common in both the countries, and programmes related to joint cultural events can also give strength to this process because people of both the countries have many cultural attributes common in their daily living.

And, simultaneous to this, some more and concrete steps must also be taken by both the sides to resolve disputes, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, keeping in mind the huge number of loss of life and damage of property due to continuous disturbance in the State.

In this regard, I reiterate, both the sides should take the state of affairs as it is, and with the sense of sacrifice, they should go ahead.

*************

Dr. Ravindra Kumar is a renowned Gandhian scholar, India expert and writer. He is the former vice chancellor of CCS University in Meerut, India. He holds a doctorate in political science.

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