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The dream of peace in the subcontinent

~ in remembrance ~

The recent visit of Pakistan politician Rehman Malik  to India received wide media coverage in both countries. Now both countries have agreed to ease visa restrictions, increase trade and resolve all disputes through dialogues. However, the truth is that despite the frequent visits of key personalities, genuine issues will not be solved by cosmetic steps alone and media speeches will not bring any change to the region.

Unfortunately, despite growing poverty, unemployment and the increase in the price of basic commodities, both countries are still spending large amounts of money on arms purchases and the arms race continues between the two nuclear power rivals. For the past several years tension has been high along the border. India accuses Pakistan of any terrorist activity which takes place on Indian soil, while Pakistan sees India behind the worsening peace situation in the Northwest frontier  and Baluchistan province.  

Unfortunately, both governments find it difficult to resist the pressure of hardline elements in extremist parties. Several other key issues, such as Kashmir, Siachen, the construction of controversial dams, and frequent acts of terrorism in both countries are making things worse. Pakistan recently decided to move the International Court of Arbitration  against the construction of the controversial Kishanganga dam. A proxy war is also going on in Afghanistan between the two countries. Until and unless both countries are able to solve genuine issues and end their disputes, the dream of peace cannot come true in the region.
Khawaja Umer Farooq, Jeddah

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