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Pak and Nepal call for ‘dialogue’ to improve relations with India


India’s neighbours on Wednesday called for “dialogue” to improve mutual relations, with Pakistan calling for a revival of the composite framework and Nepal hoping that “tension” over the promulgation of constitution would dissipate and give way to better ties.

Pakistani High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said that a stable and effective regional cooperative architecture was not possible on shaky inter-state relations. He laid stress on the need for talks to achieve peace. Basit and Nepal’s Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay were speaking at a seminar on Indo-Pak relations organised by NGO Ambassadors of Goodwill Across Borders in New Delhi.

“In order to achieve peace we need to talk to each other. It’s important that we talk so as to overcome the challenges. We need not reinvent the wheel. The composite dialogue framework is all encompassing and includes everything such as terrorism, Kashmir, Sir Creek,” Basit said.

The Pakistani High Commissioner insisted that in his capacity he was doing everything necessary to “make this happen”. “We owe it to posterity to resolve our disputes and leave a legacy of peace and friendship.”

Meanwhile, speaking on the same theme, Upadhyay observed that Nepal has “never been colonised” in its history, without making any direct reference to India’s role in the ongoing crisis situation in the Himalayan country.

“There are issues even within a family. In the same way, there is tension between the governments of the two countries (India and Nepal) at the moment,” he said.

Referring to the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal, which devastated parts of the country, Upadhyay said that “warmth” exuded by the people of both the nations in the aftermath of the quake gives him hope for better times ahead.

“There’s no gas in Nepal because it is completely dependent on India for supply of gas. There’s a humanitarian crisis,” he said.

There has been strain in India-Nepal relations in recent weeks in the wake of protests by Indian-origin Madhesis against the new Constitution, with Kathmandu blaming India for fuel shortages by not allowing fuel trucks to cross the border into Nepal. India has been maintaining that the supply was obstructed due to protests on the Nepalese side and has appealed to Nepal to resolve the political crisis.

Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar, who was also present on the occasion, stressed on the need for amity between India and Pakistan recalling how Pakistan’s slain Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto had talked about a “borderless subcontinent” to him.

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