On Sunday, April 8, Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari visited Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the capital of New Delhi. This is the first meeting with a Pakistani head of state in India since 2005. Both leaders referred to their brief half-hour exchange of words as a positive experience. Among the multiple issues they are said to have discussed was a promise to India for “most favored nation” trading status. Pakistan is welcome to host Prime Minister
Singh to further improve relations.
Peaceful negotiations and talks have been carried out between these two Southeast Asian nations since 2004. Possibly fearing nuclear conflict, the governments wish not to repeat something as volatile as the Kargil War, comparably an undeclared, short military conflict in 1999.
The nations have also engaged each other in the three previous wars of 1947, 1965, and 1971. Civil talks have indeed borne much fruit and have been persistent though stalled for some months after the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. Pakistani extremists committed much of the bombing.
It is a relief to the world that such historically hostile neighbors are making small breakthroughs amidst the revolutionary zeal and economic instability that currently blooms across the globe. If the promise for trading status is true, we may see more commerce and growth in Southeast Asia.
As long as both nations consistently coexist with the past disputed territory of Kashmir, peaceful relations may ensue years to come.