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Nawaz Sharif at SAFMA on India Pakistan relations


May 3, 2009
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Text of Nawaz Sharif’s speech | Pakistan | News | Newspaper | Daily | English | Online

LAHORE – Complete text of speech made by former prime minister and President PML-N Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at a function organised by the SAFMA I had requested Imtiaz Sahab to let me speak in the beginning instead at the last. It is kind of Imtiaz Sahab that he had invited me here. You are seated here. I am pleased to see guests from Hindustan. Prior to me many beautiful talks had been delivered. First Imtiaz Sahab, and then Dr Sahab has said many good things. I think that such a condition should exist between two countries. This environment will get further better. Then certainly we will resolve our issues, will increase our cooperation as well, will progress too, moreover prosperity will be actualised, our issues will be resolved also. Both countries will resolve their respective issues besides settling matters of mutual concern too. And Imtiaz Alam Sahab’s dream ‘Let us join hands to write a new story’ will be materialised as well. And then Building Bridges in the Sub-Continent. Usually for politicians Building Bridges are not on rivers. I understand that this is not a good beginning. Imtiaz Sahab is working for long. SAFMA’s others members are involved in this struggle for long. For peace and brotherhood in this region, and especially in your ‘writing a new story’ I was ready to pen another new account. I was not aware that Musharraf was writing another narrative, which was in dire contradiction to the existent tale. It was so painful and sad that for the first time in the history of Pakistan and Hindustan that two prime ministers, as per your assertion, had come very close to each other and they had developed very good understanding. Hindustan n PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee came to Pakistan. I respect him a lot, and pray for his good health. I think he was a brave man, and he himself expressed his desire that why we should not resolve Pakistan’s issues, find solution to problems, make a move to progress, and listen to each other’s troubles, understand, and make earnest efforts to resolve them. I liked his talk to the core of my heart. A day came when he arrived here. When he came, I think it was a historic day in the history of Pakistan and Hindustan. Upon his arrival, he expressed a desire, and talked with sincerity. I was impressed by his truthfulness and his face depicted his honesty, his eyes stood witness to it. He had fairness in his talk. I am in the knowledge of the things and I have gone through the process myself. We talked face-to-face. Prior to this, we used to meet in conferences. I had meetings with his predecessor as well. I have talking to Narsima Rao as well since he was prime minister of Hindustan at that time. When I became prime minister of Pakistan it was the fag end of 1990. I met him and he talked about Pakistan’s economic progress and fiscal policy. He especially mentioned that your (my) economic reforms order was very popular in Hindustan. Indian business community repeatedly asks to implement the policy which is actualised in Pakistan, which included abolishing exchange control, and heading to the free market economy, and he said he wanted to study your (my) model. I said it was pleasing to me. The same we want. We wish to compete in the economic race, do not want military or defence rivalry. I think it has been a bad luck of Hindustan that we had tried to compete in arms race. If Hindustan had been running after MIG 29, then we chased F16. Hindustan purchased tanks, and we made it compulsory upon us to follow the suit. Because of this, our social sectors, our development areas were adversely affected to a huge extent. Our lagged behind in education, health services, industrial development. Huge sums of money were spent on the defence built-up. We had a tradition that if anything goes wrong in Hindustan, its onus should put on Pakistan. If some thing untoward happened in Pakistan, Hindustan was to get the blame. This has been the tit-for-tat, whether there was a reality to this or not. You and I have been seeing that we spent our 60 years in this. How much this damaged us! We missed our target. Here Imtiaz talked of the Motorways, which was my first project as prime minister in 1990 which was launched by us, and completed it though we did not get time. In the first tenure, we got two years, and in the second two-and-a-half years. You saw that we completed it in the second term. It could have been done earlier provided our stint would not have been disrupted. I think that Motorways could have been constructed earlier. In the ECO meeting, I talked to the Afghan president. Said in the Tashkent meeting, that why the Motorways is not extended to Kabul. Half of it should be financed by you, half by us. The project was that on one it would be stretched to Gwadar, and from second point to Tashkent. But Motorways could not be extended to Tashkent but I was sent to Jeddah. If I would not have reached Jeddah, then Motorways would have stretched to Tashkent. It was our commitment to our country. It would have very good if Hindustan would have constructed the same Motorways and take it to Calcutta (Kolkata) and carried out such a trade or business. Because of which I am sure that we had resolved our issues and problems; Jammu and Kashmir dispute could have been resolved simultaneously. I am certain that this would have solves the problem. Vajpayee said to me ‘Pakistan takes Jammu-Kashmir very seriously. It is not that we have come here, and sign a declaration. We want to resolve the Jammu-Kashmir problem. I believe that year 1999 should be declared ‘year of resolution of Kashmir’. I was hugely impressed after listening to Vajpayee’s this discourse. A person has this earnest desire in his heart that he wants to resolve the most important issue between two countries. And we will come close to each other after resolving our all problems.

Our religion teaches us to keep the relations healthy with our neighbours as they have the foremost rights over us. We must know whether or not they have slept hungry, if so, the responsibility lies on you, and if you could do some thing, why did you not do it. It is applied to the neighbours as well, but also applies to the bordering countries, and the same principle applies to the countries as well.
We hadthe same culture and heritage, and belonged to the same society. When you spoke in Punjabi, I wanted to do the same. There are many people in Pakistan who are known after the names of cities situated in India like Hafeez Jalandhri, Muhammad Ali Amritsari and many of them are called Ludhianvi. My parents migrated from Amritsar, but I was born in Pakistan. We are from the same place. Many a large number of people migrated from Pakistan to India who are known as Lahoris, Gujratis, Sialkotis, Lyallpuris and Kasuris. There is also a Lahore Sweet Mart. What is all this? There is one border between us.
We are members of the same society and share the same background, culture and even the dishes and vegetables. Like you, we also eat ‘aaloo gosht’ and it has been wrongly attributed to me that I eat ‘siri payee’ only which I never do. When all these things common between us, then we must conduct trade with each other and develop our infrastructure besides resolving the long standing issues including water and Kashmir dispute.
We should come out of the old mind-set that we had got entangled ourselves into by some of the people who also lived in our society. We should take the initiative to hammer out the differences in joints sittings, he said, for which he found the Indian leadership more willing than him in resolving issues between the two countries. I was reluctant to take this initiative fearing the people may misinterpret him, he further added.
I was glad to know that Atal Bihari Vajpayee wanted to improve relationship with Pakistan, but the Indian prime minister complained that on one side the Lahore Declaration was being signed but on the other he was stabbed in the back through Kargil misadventure. I agreed to him as he (Vajpayee) was justified in expressing such concerns. This adventure caused a severe damage to the country but whom should I complain to and who is responsible for it?
Before this we had launched atomic explosions. I was grateful to India for playing a major role in making Pakistan an atomic state. It was better that both the countries did not reach this stage, but after it did happen, it was noticeable how the two prime minister sat together for bringing peace to the region.
New ways of negotiations always remained open and they had come closer to each other, but who did create distance between them was another story.
I appreciate the Indian government for probing the Kargil debacle through a commission. A day will come here as well when a commission will probe the war, and then doors will be closed forever.
I also appreciate Imtiaz Alam and pray for the success of the process.
The GDP growth rate of India is good. We had also the same growth rate in the past and I wished to resume the same by sorting out all the differences.
It is in the Holy Quran, that he is ‘Rubbul A’ala’meen’ not ‘Rubbul Muslimeen. The demeanour should be of dealing with individuals, which will do good to the progress of both countries.
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Masked in the idiom of De-Radicalization, Nawaz walks the the US talk of a new "silk Road"

SIZE=5]De-radicalisation of ‘Pak ideology’, the PML-N’s way[/SIZE]

By Muhammad Akram

LAHORE: Though Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif has been seeking friendly relation with neighbouring India for well over a decade now but his resolve to make it happen has recently unleashed a new phase of de-radicalisation of a mindset nurtured and helped itself prosper on the India-bashing sloganeering.

The moribund perception about nation state coupled with so-called religiosity attached with it over many a decades has been given a serious jolt by the PML-N president when he said growth, development and well-being of the people of Pakistan is linked with having friendly ties with India and that competition in the field of trade and commerce would benefit both the nations and not in the number of tanks and fighter planes one state possesses against the other.

His talk about extending motorways from Wagah-Attari border between Pakistan and India to as far as Calcutta on the eastern side and Dushanbe and Ashqabad in the north-west through Peshawar and Kabul speaks volume of the potential of trade the region can have with Pakistan and the city of Lahore becoming a natural trade centre to this vast region spreading over an estimated area of over 5,000 kilometres encompassing a population of almost one and half billion people living in south and central Asia.

The PML-N leader’s straight and heartfelt talk didn’t bode well for a now visibly diminishing and defeated mindset that has lived a life full of hate for a self-assumed enemy which has in fact resulted in rendering the hapless of Pakistan to keep on suffering from ignorance, poverty and have-nots despite having best possible natural and human resources to progress like any other developed nation on the globe.

The mindset that has been preaching hate and annihilation of the South Asian region with the help of what they called nuke-toys appeared wounded badly when none but their leader initially nurtured on the notion of India bashing turned out to be the best of the voice for the peace in the region.

The opposition to PML-N president’s perception about the region is quite understandable, as the hand-made idols had showed the hate-mongers the mirror where their faces appeared ugly.
They were responsible, along with their masters in khakis of the past, for the curse that was meted out to the people in the past and may be in the future as well if the change was not allowed to take place.

The PML-N president has not this dilemma alone that he failed to keep pace with those who nurtured him politically and also that he was perhaps unable to come up with as convincing an argument about his vision about the region for a mindset that has refused to be convinced for decades now. His real dilemma appeared to be from within his own party. Though he comfortably thanks largely because of his ultimate towering image within the party, yet it was a dilemma for him and his party that the party appeared to be divided on his vision about Pakistan’s role in the region particularly its ties with India.

The comparatively younger leadership in the party, though, is all praise for their leader about his futuristic vision for the country despite the fact they have come from families that were once the die-hard follower of the moribund perception about ideology of Pakistan, the causes of the creation of Pakistan, the reasons behind loot and massacre on the eve of independence.

For them, the vision the PML-N chief has aired has seeds he sowed by unleashing the Lahore peace process he initiated in 1999 as the prime minister with his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee. They see the Lahore Declaration as the best document signed between Pakistan and India in peace times and a good source to build on future relationship.

The PML-N old guard, fed on the moribund Pakistan nation state concept, who had been preacher of the hate rather than co-existence in the region, had been rendered silent by the party chief with his heartfelt speech on the kind of relation he felt Pakistan should have with India.

There is a kind of cold war in the party on the party president’s recent outburst on the games the military juntas had played in relations with India, an informed party source confided to Daily Times on the condition of anonymity. With the old guard are keeping their silence on the issue the young lot appears to be enthusiastic about what their party chief has been viewing about future prospects of the country linked with friendly relations with India, said the source.

The source said that the PML-N president perhaps had the lifetime experience when he heard Kashmiri youth sharing their plight as the inhabitant of areas in a war zone along the Line of Control. He was shockingly surprised and made many old guards accompanying him to listen to them as saying, “Our area called Azad Kashmir but are we independent.”The PML-N leader was quoted as saying, “How can they prosper while living in a permanent war zone where they can have no business, no agriculture and no free movement to fetch a reasonable job.”

“The PML-N is in transition phase as for as the party’s shifting as a whole its perception about country’s placement in the region as a source of peace, trade and business rather than a war mongering security state,” said an observer. The ‘de-radicalisation’ of the PML-N on ideological front vis-à-vis the distorted version of history taught in Pakistan since decades though an uphill task yet vital for a forward movement to reach the truth about the very existence of Pakistan, the observer said adding that Nawaz is the best choice of the time to bank as far as the question of converting Pakistan from a security state to a state sprouting trade and business. “Nawaz need to be supported not only by his own party but all those who agree to his view point on Pakistan’s friendly relation with India,” said the observer.

Nawaz and the PML-N particularly needed the support of all those forces and individuals who had been condemned for pursuing the same vision and for treading on the same path in the past by the various establishments and their civilian faces for which they were given the name as anti-state elements, the observer added.
yes he can say as he will be candidate in next election not we .we are free to disagree .
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