Three cheers for peace

THEY are making history in the subcontinent. Only a couple of years back, India and Pakistan, the separated-at-birth twins looked set for a nuclear conflagration.

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Published: Mon 21 Jun 2004, 10:23 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:30 AM

Therefore, the neighbours' decision to initiate a slew of bold measures aimed at preventing a nuclear clash (accidental or otherwise) and ushering in permanent peace in the subcontinent calls for celebration. The first ever talks to address the issue of nuclear weapons since India and Pakistan went nuclear back in 1998, on Sunday's negotiations clear all doubts about the continuance of dialogue process with the change of guard in Delhi. The most significant and heartening outcome of the talks was the decision to suspend all nuclear tests. During two days of meetings, both sides - who have fought three wars and came close to another two years ago - also agreed to establish a hotline to prevent a sudden nuclear flare-up.

These are certainly path breaking steps with positive impact on peace and stability in south Asia. The leadership of the two countries has realised albeit belatedly that peace is the only path to progress for their people. If Turkey and Greece, bitterest enemies-neighbours in Europe, can come together, why cannot India and Pakistan do so? Peace in the subcontinent will boost economy in turn leading to prosperity and development. Burgeoning economies of India and Pakistan with a total population of 1.5 billion hold enormous potential for bilateral trade. If the two countries turn their attention from defence to economy, they can transform their people's condition for the better. However, if that's to happen, India and Pakistan must resolve all their disputes sensibly and peacefully.

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