'India, Pak. must resume comprehensive dialogue'

KARACHI MAY 29. An organisation called Pakistan Peace Coalition, based here, has urged India and Pakistan to desist from aggravating the military tension by jingoistic rhetoric and posturing, already initiated by the forces of religious chauvinism on both sides. "We deplore the gung-ho militarism on either side along with irresponsible threats of a nuclear war. No cause can justify the use of nuclear weapons. Lives of millions of ordinary people on either side are involved. In any case, war itself is never a sane option," it said in a resolution adopted at a seminar on "Impact of nuclearisation on South Asia."

The two Governments must order mutual de-escalation of warlike deployment of their armies. They should move back to peacetime stations. They should resume the comprehensive dialogue between themselves and promote it among the citizens concerned on both sides. For that, all communication links by rail, road and air should be restored immediately and visa regimes need to be relaxed to encourage people-to-people contacts.

Disputed and contentious issues between the two countries need to be tackled in relaxed, peaceful conditions, for the creation of which, both Governments and civil society leaders from both sides need to strive hard. All issues should be seen afresh from the perspective of their impact on the lives of the common people. The perspective should be based on the values of democracy, humanism and scientific outlook on life.

Popular wishes, welfare and improvement in the conditions of life of common citizens must be supreme. May 28 is the fourth anniversary of Pakistan's nuclear weapon tests in Chaghi, Baluchistan, which came a fortnight after India had done the same in Pokhran, Rajasthan.

The mass destruction weapons of the two countries are too de-stabilising and offer a standing provocation to India and Pakistan against each other. So long as they have these weapons in their arsenals, there can be no normalisation of relations, let alone the people-to-people reconciliation, which is the only solution for South Asia's problems. These weapons have been justified on the bogus doctrine of deterrence. But the fact is that they have neither deterred the other side nor can their number remain limited. Otherwise, the continuing arms race between India and Pakistan could be capped.

This is, however not possible, and the continuing expenditures on such weapons that cannot be used, is therefore, ruinous for both countries.

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