Recent visit of Pakistan Interior Minister Rahman Malik to India got wide media coverage in both countries. Both countries have agreed to ease visa restrictions, increase trade and resolve all disputes through dialogues. Reality is that despite frequent visit of several key personalities, without solving genuine issues and long disputes between both the countries, only cosmetics steps and media speeches can’t bring any change in the region.

Despite growing poverty, unemployment and high prices of basic commodities, both countries are still spending huge amount on arm purchase, and the arms race is still going on. For the last several years tension is very high on the borders. In case of any terror activity on Indian soil, India starts accusing Pakistan of terrorism and Pakistan is seeing Indian hand in all situations disturbing peace in KPK and Balochistan province.

Unfortunately both governments are unable to come to any decisions against the wishes of the hardliner elements of extremist parties inside their respective borders. Several other key issues such as Kashmir, Siachen, construction of controversial dams, frequent acts of terrorism in both countries are also making things worst. Only months ago Pakistan 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 both the countries. Until and unless both countries are able to solve genuine issues and long disputes dream of peace can’t come true in the region.

KHAWAJA UMER FAROOQ,

Jeddah, December 18.