President Zardari’s visit India would open new avenues of better relations with our eastern neighbor. It is a great initiative, laudable indeed. President’s visit although short and private — just for one day, aimed at paying respects at the holy shrine of Khawaja Ghareeb Nawaz, Hazrat Moeenuddin Chishti. It was indeed significant. An instant result was the luncheon invitation from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The two leaders did not merely exchange pleasantries with warm handshakes or smiles. They discussed ways to bridge communication gap between their two states, and also touched, on how to stop mutual hostility, and look for a new approach in their bilateral ties. This would be important for the both countries, as well as for the regional and world peace.

It was an unintended, informal summit, but such high level contacts do raise hopes for the future. India-Pakistan ties, stung by the Mumbai blast are now on the road to recovery. Ministerial, officials, and cultural levels delegations have been exchanged by the present democratic government. President Zardari’s meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will contribute towards translating the president’s vision of inter-regional cooperation and harmony. India appreciates the moderate stand taken by President Zardari for peace and prosperity, and is preparing to give him a warm welcome when he arrives. Thus President Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to India at this point in time posses potential of being the harbinger of bettering the ties and peace in the region and is also expected to generate substantial economic benefits to Pakistan.

SHUAIB AHMED WADHO,

Islamabad, April 7.