Pakistani daily hopes for better ties with India

Islamabad, April 8 (IANS) The Indian government's decision to re-start visas on arrival for senior citizens is welcome as it indicates the end of unpleasantness between New Delhi and Islamabad, said a Pakistani daily Monday.

The visa on arrival for senior citizens was agreed Dec 18, 2012 but frozen Jan 15, 2013.

The recent decision of the Indian government to restart it is welcome as "it denotes the end of the unpleasantness in the wake of the clash on the Line of Control", said an editorial in the Daily Times.

"The move to allow visas for senior citizens...has finally reversed the bellicosity of the Indian Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh's threatening tone and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement that it `could not be business as usual with Pakistan'."

"...it is hoped that in the interests of a long-term peace, such knee-jerk reactions would be avoided in future."

The daily said that despite the ongoing overtures from both governments to bring "about a detente, the chances of trouble being stirred up by spoilers of the peace process are always there".

"It is high time such elements are rendered ineffective by ensuring that the will of the majority of the people in Pakistan and India to interact amicably is not torpedoed by a small group of those who want nothing short of mayhem for the advancement of their own bigoted, rigid and hate-filled narrative," it added.

The daily rued that borders, "and that too between people separated by uncontrollable circumstances, play havoc with their hearts and minds, having to exist without those with whom the shared bonds are of history, culture and geography".

The people of Pakistan and India, after Partition, have had to live with the new reality since 1947 with not much hope of alteration in the situation, keeping in consideration the bad blood between the two neighbours, it said.

The editorial stressed that the focus should be on the maintenance of a friendly atmosphere.

"With the two countries interacting, artistes from Pakistan working in the Indian film industry in different capacities, Indian writers/speakers as guests on various fora in Pakistan, and sports tournaments (especially cricket matches), the one thing that stands out is the commonality of a shared cultural and historical heritage, thus making the reduction of hostility even more imperative."

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