Daily calls for better Pakistan-India ties

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Islamabad, March 8 (IANS) It is for the first time perhaps that militants crossing over from Pakistan into India have not generated negative publicity, said a Pakistani daily which noted that the relationship between the two countries is fraught with mistrust.

An editorial “Benefits of co-operation” in The Nation said, “India has often alleged Pakistani intelligence agencies facilitate militants to cross the border so that they can carry out attacks in Indian cities – a claim the agencies have always denied.”

“Regardless of definitive proof, incidents of militants crossing borders, real or fictitious, always strain the relationship between the two neighbours. It is for the first time perhaps that militants crossing over from Pakistan into India hasn’t generated negative publicity,” it added.

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On Monday, top officials in India claimed that Pakistan’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Naseer Khan Janjua informed his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval that a group of militants from the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammed cadres has crossed over into Gujarat on a mission to a major terror strike.

The warning prompted Gujarat to put its security and officials on high alert and to take necessary precautions.

The daily said that Pakistani officials have yet to confirm if the NSA did convey this warning and despite it, the danger still remains eminent until it is definitively tackled. But both National Security Advisors and their teams can take solace from the fact that a working relationship between the two can lead to sizable benefits.

“The present relationship between the two is fraught with mistrust and held back by the political opinion at home, but this incident should amply highlight the potential of extensive intelligence sharing,” The Nation said.

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“Not only can the militant threat be tackled from both angles — removing a major bone of contention between the two nations — regular interaction, sharing of information and mutual capacity-building will increase the trust between both governments — a key commodity severely lacking between the two neighbours,” it said.

The daily noted that if the militant threat is effectively countered, an argument can be made for increasing the interaction from just NSA to NSA, to a more departmental connection.

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