Pakistan, India need to keep windows ajar: Daily

Islamabad, Jan 19 (IANS) Pakistan and India must keep the windows ajar with the foreign secretaries meeting this month as per a new schedule so that “peace can win over terrorism”, a Pakistani daily said on Tuesday.

An editorial in The News International said that it was a “well-established reality that there are elements on both sides of the Indo-Pak border that will go to any length to prevent peace between the two countries”.

“It is essential these elements not be permitted to succeed, and this can happen only if the leaders of the South Asian neighbours refuse to allow their tactics to work,” it said.

“It is unfortunate then to see that the Pathankot attack has once more led to a crisis of trust, with New Delhi reverting quickly to some of the hostility and acrimony we have seen in the past.”

The daily said the historic mistrust between the two countries had appeared to ease after the separate visits by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and then the brief stop-over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the past few weeks.

“But it appears now that the bridges built are creaking again. While Pakistan had appeared to act on evidence from India by arresting the leader of the Jaish-e-Muhammad, blamed by New Delhi for the attacks, along with 20 other activists, it seems more is required.”

“These measures may, to some degree, have salvaged matters. But they have not completely blocked a new wave of hostility,” it added.

It said that the acrimony directed across the border by India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is unsettling.

“Parrikar, responsible last year too for some highly offensive comments, has warned the ‘consequences will be seen’ in a year if Pakistan does not show action.”

“Permission has also been denied to the Pakistan SIT team to visit Pathankot, leaving it to ponder the option of visiting New Delhi, the line favoured by India, or else seek more evidence to be dispatched to it.”

It also said that India has denied travel documents to Hurriyat leaders and social activists who had hoped to visit Pakistan this week for a Kashmir Conference – which has now been cancelled.

“New laser fences, which act like radars, are also to be installed by the Indian BSF.

“But for now windows remain open. They must be kept ajar, with the foreign secretaries meeting this month as per a new schedule so that peace can win over terrorism,” it added.

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