Krishna Kumar, Professor of Education at Delhi University and a former Director of India’s National Council of Educational Research and Training [NCERT] reflects:
The narrow, meandering path that India-Pakistan relations have followed since the early 1970s appears to have suddenly widened this summer.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and the luncheon meeting between him and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh indicated that the two countries need not wait for politically perfect moments to focus on sensible thoughts.
Then, on Baisakhi day, an integrated checkpoint at Attari was inaugurated, marking a substantial step forward in trade relations.
The significance of this modern facility at the border can now be enhanced by a decision to terminate the medieval display of mutual suspicion and disdain staged every evening by the armed forces guarding the gates on the two sides of the no-man’s-land.
Whose morale this ceremony boosts and for what purpose are questions that will not consume much time if anyone claiming to represent the two countries — either their people or the states — ponders on them from a peace perspective.
The decision to discontinue the evening charade will potentially hurt the minor financial interests of the transporters who bring the jeering public from Amritsar and Lahore to the border gates at Wagah.
Closing down this ugly routine show of animosity and stiffness will express a shared resolve of two mature nations to walk towards peaceful coexistence.
Read the whole article here: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/article3394664.ece?homepage=true
The role of textbooks in perpetuating regional conflict: http://www.chs-sachetan.org/?p=1776