India And Pak Willing To Walk, If Not Work, Together: Government Source

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Recent developments, according to the government source, also indicate that both India and Pakistan are trying to bridge distances.

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New Delhi: India and Pakistan, south Asian neighbours and archrivals, were among the countries that abstained on a UN resolution that deplored Russia’s actions in Ukraine. The two countries are trying to work out their differences, government sources indicate.
“Ceasefire between the two countries (India and Pakistan) has sustained for over a year now. It’s a good indicator that both countries are wanting to walk together if not work together,” a senior functionary in the government said.

Recent developments, according to the functionary, also indicate that both India and Pakistan are trying to bridge distances. “India is examining Pakistan requests beyond Indus Water Treaty provisions on flood flows as a gesture of goodwill,” he added.

India has been providing information to Pakistan on extraordinary discharges of water from reservoirs and flood flows every year as mandated in Indus Water Treaty but this year it has agreed to provide information beyond treaty provisions in recent talks held in Islamabad.

“In fact each country which has abstained might not have friendly equation with each other but are aware that they can’t look towards west always and so are keeping their own strategic interest ahead,” explained a source.

According to him, both India and Pakistan acknowledge that they need to work out their differences on their own.

In fact, National Security Policy document released by Pakistan army under its “policy of peace” at home and abroad states that “it wishes to improve its relationship with India”.

Even recent statement of its Army Chief said that they are not averse of demilitarisation of Siachen. Both statements are being seen by the Ministry of Home Affairs as neighbours softening stance towards each other.

Last year’s opening of Kartarpur is another sign that both nations are inching towards lessening hostility towards each other.

“As a special gesture both India and Pakistan allowed truck convoys carrying wheat as humanitarian aid for Afghanistan recently too,” explains a senior functionary in the government.

Religious pilgrimage between India and Pakistan, as mandated under 1974 protocol, has been severely reduced in last few years. “Only selected few are being given NOC by MHA and that too after through scrutiny,” explains an MHA official.

According to him, although there is a proposal by Pakistan to allow pilgrims -Hindu, Sikh and Muslim – from both sides to take flights but India has stuck to its point that this permission could only follow once India and Pakistan open talks to renegotiate the 1974 protocol.

Meanwhile Pakistan government has refused to hold talks with India after the Centre changed the status of Jammu and Kashmir.

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