After 14 years, Nawaz Sharif is poised to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan. It looks like he is waiting to clean up what he calls the country’s mess — an array of troubles from Taliban insurgency to inflation, mis-governance and lawlessness.

Although the recent election marked the first transition from one civilian government to another, it is the powerful military that still calls the shots in Pakistan. Mr. Sharif will have to work with the generals who control foreign policy and national security. It is to be seen whether, under the circumstances, the new Prime Minister can deliver on the promises made by his party before the election.

J.S. Acharya,

Hyderabad

Although the PML (N) has won the maximum number of votes and Mr. Sharif is set to lead the next government in Pakistan, the situation is not rosy. Mr. Sharif will need to do a lot to counter the anti-democratic forces, defeat the terrorists and dismantle the terror training camps operating from Pakistan.

Both India and Pakistan must take the opportunity to forge a healthy relationship and sort out all pending issues so that the people of the two countries can live in peace

K.A. Subramanian,

Palakkad

If Mr. Sharif can demonstrate by his action that he means what he says, especially about picking up the threads of the India-Pakistan relationship from where he left in 1999, a new era will begin in the history of bilateral ties. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s invitation to Mr. Sharif to visit India couldn’t have come at a better time. All the two leaders need to do is to exhibit the wisdom to make the discussions fruitful. Let us not forget that we eat and drink from the same bowl. There is no reason why we should remain the worst enemies.

K.G. Koru Kuttan Nair,

Cherupulasseri

Dr. Singh should visit Pakistan for Mr. Sharif’s swearing-in ceremony. It would be a watershed event. The resolution of the Kashmir issue will take a long time as it involves China too. New Delhi and Islamabad should improve their ties keeping aside Kashmir, and work for the improvement of trade and cultural relations.

T. Sivasankar Bhavan,

Kadapa

The smooth conduct of elections and the formation of a democratic government in Pakistan are welcome for both the countries. India and Pakistan should utilise every opportunity to normalise relations. The peace process which started in 1999 came to an abrupt end because of the Kargil war. Mr. Sharif should indeed pick up the threads from where he left.

T.V. Nageswara Rao,

VisakhapatnamMr. Sharif’s friendly remarks point to a possible improvement in India-Pakistan ties. I want another 1999 to happen. The two countries, after all, share the same past and were one till 66 years ago.

A new beginning must be made and all problems solved peacefully. History is replete with examples of two hostile nations resolving their disputes amicably. Why can’t two nations with a common past, facing similar problems, work together?

R. Krishna Mohan,

Kollam

It is not the people of Pakistan who hate their Indian neighbours; it is the government of that country that has been treating India as an enemy thanks to the Kashmir issue. If Mr. Sharif truly wishes to see the people of the two countries shake hands and hug one another, his government should create a friendly atmosphere by putting an end to the infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan.

H. Narayanan,

Bangalore

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