India, Pakistan Enjoy Best Ever Relations: J&K Gov

10 May 2008

New Delhi: EVEN AS the security forces of India and Pakistan exchanged heavy fire in the Samba sector in Jammu and Kashmir this week, the state governor, Lt General (Retd) SK Sinha, said on May 10 (Saturday) that the two countries were enjoying the best ever relations. He said that there had been a dramatic and favourable turn during the past couple of years or so, and the situation was conducive for resolving all the unresolved problems. It is to be noted that on the night of May 8, the Pakistan Rangers resorted to heavy firing to assist an infiltration bid by 15 militants in Jammu's Samba sector. The move was successfully repelled by the Border Security Force. In an hour-long interaction with the British High Commissioner in India, Richard Stagg, at the governor house, Sinha said that there had been a flexibility in approach towards solving problems on both sides. He hoped that restoration of democracy in Pakistan would further strengthen the bilateral relations, which would steer the region to peace and prosperity. He noted with satisfaction the depleted hostility towards India in Pakistan and said that even the Pak media was no longer indulging in anti-India tirade. “These are positive and encouraging developments,” he maintained. The governor expressed happiness over Pakistan's march towards democracy and said that it would help the neighbouring country to resolve all its problems. “At last, Pakistan seems to have emerged from military dictatorship and we wish our neighbour to prosper and progress,” he added. He said, “J&K is going to polls later this year and this unfolds an opportunity for the people and the political parties to demonstrate their representative character.” “Any claim to be the representative of the people of Kashmir is hollow unless that claim is supported by the people through an electoral process,” he observed. Sinha said that the people of the state had demonstrated their will in a democratic manner several times in the past six decades. He further added that democracy was deep rooted in the state and it enjoyed self-governance much more than any other part of India. On terrorism, the governor said that India had been combating this menace for much longer than any other country of the world. “The world has to find a solution to the conflicting demands of fundamentalism and secularism,” he said, and added that fundamentalism was not going to help either Kashmir or Pakistan. When asked how he envisioned the future of the Indo-Pak region, Sinha said that economic issues would dominate and prevail over the political problems. He viewed that through economic development, a peaceful Kashmir could be a part of an economic union in South Asia on the lines of the European Union. “We should, in this region, unitedly fight the common enemies like hunger, disease and ignorance,” the governor said, adding that it would be a win-win situation for all.