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University of the Punjab

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PU holds talk on Pak-India relations
PU holds talk on Pak-India relations


LAHORE: (Wednesday, December 30, 2015): Former Pakistani High Commissioner to India Mr Aziz Ahmed Khan has said that the peace process between the two nations which had started from Ufa was derailed because Pakistan wanted inclusion of Kashmiri leaders in the talks which had been the normal practice earlier but India took a hard-line, jeopardizing the dialogue process. He was addressing a roundtable talk on Pakistan and India relations jointly organized by Pakistan Study Centre and Pakistan National Forum at Committee Room of Undergraduate Study Centre here on Wednesday.

PU Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamra, former Pakistan High Commissioner to India Aziz Ahmed Khan, Former Chief of air staff Air Marshal Zafar A. Chaudhry, Justice Faqir Muhammad Khokhar, Lt. Gen. M. Naseer Akhtar, Rana Ijaz Ahmad, Khalid Mahmud, Masood Hasan, Naeem Hussain Chatth, Maj. Gen. Khawaja Rahat Latif ®, Director Pakistan Study Centre Prof. Dr. Massarrat Abid and Advisor to Vice Chancellor Col® Ikram Ullah Khan and senior faculty members were present on the occasion. Addressing the participants, Mr Aziz Ahmed Khan said that the relations between Pakistan and India were very strained when Modi came into power. He made a comparison between the priorities of former government of BJP under Vajpayee and the present Modi government. He spoke on all irritants between India and Pakistan including Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek and Trade. He said that in 1989 India was ready to withdraw its forces from Siachen but developments in region deteriorated the process. He said 1937, Sir Creek boundary was demarcated and it was a non-issue but later India backed out and it was turned into a dispute. He revealed that in 2007 independent surveys were conducted and maps were exchanged and an amicable solution was near to be sought. He added further that Kashmir dispute had been the bone of contention since independence however during Musharraf era, some major developments were made and some initial steps such as start of a bus service resulted in enhancement of people to people contact. He said Mumbai attacks in 2008 changed the whole scenario. He suggested that interference in each other's affairs should be avoided by both India and Pakistan. He was also of the view that the trade relations with India will not harm the economy of Pakistan as trade with China has not brought negative impact to the economy. He also revealed that in 2005, Indian business tycoon Mr. Rattan Tata secretly visited Pakistan and offered to invest $5billions but it could not be materialized. He said that Pakistan had been gradually increasing the number of items on positive list. He said that trade can help in harmonizing the environment to seek the resolution of some other important issues. Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran in his speech stressed on the need to focus on education and research to deal effectively with the problems faced by Pakistan. He quoted verses of Holy Quran emphasizing on seeking knowledge. Air Marshal Zafar A. Chaudhry in his presidential address said that we have neglected the message of Quaid-i-Azam of unity, faith and discipline and we have disintegrated ourselves into sectarian and ethnic divide. Prof. Dr. Massarrat Abid, Director of Pakistan Study Centre gave a brief overview of the factors which led to the Indian Prime Ministers' visit to Lahore. She described the visit as a positive move towards construction of better relations between India and Pakistan. It has given new hopes to the peace initiatives in the region. The round table conference concluded that only dialogue can deliver peace in the region and CBMs must be enhanced. Pakistan was willing to work for peace in the region but not at the cost of Indian hegemony. Faculty members, researchers and PhD scholars of the Centre and different departments of the university participated in the event and applauded the efforts of Pakistan Study Centre in highlighting issues of national importance.