Pakistan’s sovereignty in India’s interest: Nayar
* Indian parliamentarian says Indians ‘ashamed of Gujarat massacre’
* Accorded life membership of Karachi Press Club
KARACHI: Eminent journalist and member of the Indian parliament Kuldip Nayar on Tuesday said Pakistan’s sovereignty, integrity and prosperity was in India’s interest.
Speaking at a meeting organised by the right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in honour of the 14-member Indian parliamentary delegation, he said India needed to strengthen itself while ensuring that Pakistan remained intact.
Mr Nayar, who was born in Sialkot, said it was his dream to see South Asia emerging as an integrated economic power without compromising the independence of any country. “Pakistan and India should decide that they would not resolve any issue through war since differences can be resolved through negotiations and love. Both the countries have the opportunity to sort out the Kashmir issue peacefully and they should not miss it. India does not want to bury the issue,” he said.
The Indian parliamentarian said that in the aftermath of the war on Iraq, it was high time that both India and Pakistan note that certain powers were bent upon extending their hegemony in other regions. He said the United States had its own interests and it was vying to impose economic imperialism on developing countries through instruments like the World Trade Organisation (WTO). He said racism was on the rise in western countries and that was why large numbers of immigrants were returning home.
Mr Nayar said secularism was not synonymous to atheism and enlightened people in India were trying their best to retain the country’s secular posture. He said the people of the subcontinent had an eastern, oriental culture with strong family ties and respect for the elderly, something that was missing in the West. He said as “responsible nations” India and Pakistan could emerge as strong entities and become an example for other nations.
Shahid Siddiqui, a member of the delegation, said, “It’s time to bury the ghosts of partition,” adding that a “qualitative change” had occurred in the thinking of the people living in the two neighbouring countries. Abdul Rasheed Shaheen, another Indian parliament member, said Kashmir was the core issue in the subcontinent and it was a positive sign that the JI was urging for the resolution of the issues between the two countries through negotiations.
Speaking on the occasion, JI leader Professor Ghafoor Ahmed said Mr Nayar was born in Sialkot while he was born in Uttar Pradesh. He said there should be an exchange of parliamentary delegations between the two countries more often and added that the 56-year animosity between the two neighbouring countries could be compensated through friendship.
Earlier, speaking at the Meet the Press programme at the Karachi Press Club, Mr Nayar said it was a cliché that India did not recognise Pakistan. He said even the adherents of “Akhund Bharat” were now silent and added that the Indians were ashamed of the Gujrat massacre and wanted to see Pakistan prosper.
Mr Nayar was accorded the life membership of Karachi Press Club and said he would stay, eat and drink at the club when he visits Pakistan next. “We had come with a message of love and were overwhelmed by the response we have received here,” he said.