Post-2014 proxy war in Afghanistan can hurt Pak-India ties: Mushahid
20 September, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Senator Mushahid Hussain , Chairman, Senate Defence Committee, called for cooperation between India and Pakistan to "create new regionalism" while addressing Pakistan India Parliamentarians' Dialogue, a fifth in the series of dialogue initiated by PILDAT in 2011 .
"Today, a greater South Asia is emerging as a new geo-economic entity which is not limited to SAARC countries but includes China, Myanmar, Iran and Afghanistan," said Mushahid. "This New Regionalism should be knit together by cooperation in economy and energy, railway, roads and pipelines."
The chairman, Defence Committee pointed out that the most important regional challenge is the upcoming US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 and which would have spill over impact on the region. He stated that it is crucial that India and Pakistan should work together to make bold decisions which may be unpopular yet are necessary.
"We should not repeat the mistakes of the past in future by carrying out proxy wars and revival of a cold war mindset that is detrimental to all regional players." He warned that a new Cold war in the region would be destabilizing for regional cooperation.
He endorsed the sentiments of Maani Shankar Aiyer, member Indian Congress, that the parliamentarians and common people on both sides should work together to create an atmosphere of good will and dialogue.
He reiterated that the dialogue process should be fostered by the parliamentarians, political leaders and Media; a task that is beyond the capabilities of bureaucrats who are trapped in their traditional and outmoded mindset.
"It is important to note here that India bashing has not been a factor in Pakistan in the last six elections since 1990 which just shows how politically aware are the people of Pakistan". He laughingly added that "anti-Indianism, according to different survey results, has been replaced by anti-Americanism."
He extended full support, on the behalf of the Senate Defence Committee, in cooperation on any possible dialogue with its Indian counterparts, similar to the two dialogues conducted by the committee in Afghanistan and China this year.
He argued that peace in indivisible and cannot be compartmentalized; hence, peaceful and just settlement of the Kashmir dispute would be a major plus for peace.