India, Pakistan need to take giant leap for peaceful co-existence
ISLAMABAD INDIA and Pakistan need to bury the hatchet and take a “giant leap towards peaceful co-existence,” says a Pakistani defence scientist who played a key role in the country’s nuclear tests in 1998.
“We can neither choose nor change our neighbours.
Won’t it be better if we lived peacefully?” Samar Mubarakmand, a key member of the team that developed Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, said.
He made the remarks while addressing an annual reunion organised by the Old Ravians Union (ORU), the association of former students of the Government College University in Lahore.
The annual reunion on Saturday was also attended by a 15-member delegation from India as guests of honour and a large number of former students of the prestigious collage.
Mubarakmand said both the countries need to bury the hatchet and make sincere efforts towards “peaceful co-existence” through normalisation of the strained relations He said education institutions like Government College University were the nurseries that raised topnotch scientists who made Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programmes successful, according to a statement issued by ORU.
The government should pay special attention to the preservation and progress of these nurseries, he said.
Other speakers at the function also stressed the need for cordial relations between the South Asian neighbours and felt that increased trade can help ease tensions after political efforts to end hostilities stalled. The two countries are promising to throw open their economies to each other by the end of the year.
They have already liberalised some commercial ties and inaugurated a new border depot.
There is even talk of opening new crossings to facilitate commerce between the archrivals. The hostility between the two countries has forced Indian traders to send goods to Pakistan by ship through Dubai rather than directly over their shared border. Pakistan turned to faraway Africa to buy its tea, said another speaker.
Now, businesses in India are giddy about the possibilities the warming business ties could unlock.
Members of the Indian delegation met with their classmates and their families, who came from different parts of Pakistan to meet their pre-partition class fellows after several decades.
Mubarakmand asked the Punjab government and the Higher Education Commission to provide generous funding to the GCU Lahore for setting up its new campus at Kala Shah Kaku.
GCU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur- Rahman said GCU graduates kept a lifelong bond with it. He said GCU needed financial resources to compete with its rivals in the private sector. He called upon Old Ravians that GCU needed their support to expand its functions in different domains, besides strengthening the existing facilities.
He hoped that the Punjab government would also provide fund for GCU new campus.
Mian Mujtaba Shuja ur Rahman announced that the Punjab government would soon release funds for establishment of swimming- pool at the GCU Sports Complex.
Justice (Retd) Khawaja Muhammad Sharif said it was the duty of every Old Ravian to pay back the debt of alma mater and help the deserving students of this great institution.