CPI(M) leader Tarigami welcomes thaw in Indo-Pak ties, bats for more initiatives

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Jammu, March 25 (PTI) Welcoming the thaw in India-Pakistan relations, senior CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami on Thursday demanded more initiatives to normalise ties between the two nations to ensure lasting peace in the region.

'We welcome it. More initiatives are needed to normalise relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbours to ensure lasting peace in the region', Tarigami said.

He said there are already signs of a cooling down in India-Pakistan relations as the two governments have agreed to cooperate on healthcare under the aegis of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and of reviving negotiations on religious pilgrimages after agreeing to uphold the ceasefire agreement in February.

'These moves may together set the stage for bolder measures towards a lasting peace', he added.

However, as past experiences show, even sustained initiatives by Indian and Pakistani leaders have foundered on relatively lower levels of hostility, because openly-expressed distrust kept the field open for spoilers to step in, he said.

'What is needed now is the peace process should not be allowed to go on the back burner because of isolated incidents of violence', he said.

Tarigami said that ideally, India and Pakistan should move to pick up peace negotiations from where they left off in 2007. 'The draft framework was a win-win which took into consideration the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir along with the requirements of India and Pakistan', he added.

The veteran CPI(M) leader said that in the current adverse times, the significance of dialogue becomes more important and it is extremely important that not only the dialogue process should be furthered, but all channels of communication at diplomatic levels must be opened.

'It is high time that India and Pakistan realise the importance of peaceful co-existence', he said.

People of Jammu and Kashmir are the worst hit by Indo-Pak hostility and turmoil in the region. Peace with dignity is in the interest of people of Jammu and Kashmir who always want better relations between the two countries, he said.

Tarigami said the people of J-K want a dignified life for which an environment of purposeful dialogue is needed and all the stakeholders must be taken on board.

The recent ceasefire has given a sigh of relief to thousands of border residents living on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir, who were at the receiving end of Indo-Pak animosity in the recent years, he said. PTI AB HDA