LAHORE - Speakers at a seminar yesterday said Pakistan and India could not have friendly ties without solution to the Kashmir problem through peaceful means.

For the settlement of the issue, India needs to treat Pakistan equally and act objectively, they said at a seminar on “Pakistan-India Relations: Changing Situation” at Hameed Nizami Press Institute of Pakistan.

Former Foreign Minister Khursheed Mahmood Kasuri ruled out possibility of a war between India and Pakistan, contending no one of the atomic powers could emerge a winner. Kasuri who has recently launched his book on Indo-Pak ties “Neither a Hawk nor a Dove,” said Kashmir problem could only be solved through negotiations for which India needs to treat Pakistan equal. At the same time, he sought zero tolerance for violence in either side.

The ex-minister cautioned against hawkish elements from both sides to sabotage peace ventures.

Kasuri said an extreme care is needed to carry forward Pakistan’s interests at the international level. “We must architect our foreign policy keeping in view our own interests and the ground realities,” he added.

Underlining the need to make the country stronger, he said, “We ourselves have to find out flaws instead of blaming others for our weak position.” He said China was a friend of Pakistan, but it would not help the motherland in any adventurism as it did in the Kargil conflict. He wanted Pakistan to raise human rights violations at international level.

Speaking on the recent terror incident in Pathankot, Kasuri suspected involvement of persons on the Indian side, who might have helped the terrorists to scale 18ft high wall. “India is also investigating the incident on these lines while we are also sending our team to India,” he added.

Former Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad Khan said it was unfortunate that those who ruled the country did not know the history. “These rulers do not know what nationalism is in the face of Hindu mentality which is still against the creation of Pakistan,” he added.

Shamshad underlined the need to solve Kashmir problem to set Indo-Pakistan relations right. He counted the shrewd statesmanship of Indian PM Modi who, he added, was making PM Nawaz Sharif dance to his tunes, holding the driving seat on the issue since 2014. “We are only giving reaction to what the Indian PM has been doing with the issue, he said, reminding that in Ufa, Russia, he made our PM see him and fixed camera at every step of the 40-meter distance. “On way back home from Afghanistan, Modi phoned PM Nawaz Sharif and arrived here within minutes and we were overjoyed on his visit. But just a week after, Pathankot drama was staged followed by a demand from India to end terrorism if any talk is to be held,” the former secretary said.

The Nation Editor Salim Bokhari said those who talk of friendship with India have suspicious Pakistanism. “India does not want to talk on Kashmir and if the enemy country is not willing to discuss this burning issue, we should not insist on it,” he added.

The veteran journalist said not only Nawa-i-Waqt but also the whole nation is the custodian of the two-nation theory. Salim Bokhari also lamented the subservient attitude of the rulers and recalled the time when PM Nawaz Sharif took part in the oath-taking ceremony of Modi on a half-heartedly given invitation. No need to talk to Modi after admission of his role in dismemberment of Pakistan during his last year’s visit to Bangladesh, he added. He said the Indian government had turned its Pakistan enmity into Muslim enmity as a result of which Muslims were being killed even on the assumption that they ate beef. The treatment meted out to Pakistani artistes in India reflects Muslim enmity of the Modi government, he added. He said, “We criticise our security agencies, but no Indian newsman can dare to do so against RAW.” He asked the Pakistani leadership to keep the national interests ahead of their personal ones. “We will continue to face disgrace if we give precedence to our personal interests. What happened in Ufa is quite shameful for us,” he said.

Bokhari recalled when Modi was asked about the massacre of Muslims in the riots of Gujarat, he replied how he could be blamed for killing a dog if it was run over under his vehicle. When asked what would have been his reaction if he had been PM at the time of attack on the Indian Parliament, he replied he would have done the same what he did in Gujarat.