Pakistan media hails talks between Gilani, Singh

The decision by the PMs of India and Pakistan to resume the stalled peace process is a significant breakthrough though the two sides will have to work quickly to address issues like Kashmir and terrorism to make real progress.

Updated: May 01, 2010, 18:19 PM IST

Islamabad: The decision by the Prime
Ministers of India and Pakistan to resume the stalled peace
process is a significant breakthrough though the two sides
will have to work quickly to address issues like Kashmir and
terrorism to make real progress, local media said on Saturday.

Two days after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and
his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh agreed to resume
dialogue during a meeting on the sidelines of a regional
summit in Bhutan, the Dawn newspaper hailed the decision as
"the softest of breakthroughs."

Most dailies welcomed the decision in their
editorials, saying it would help to end the impasse that
has existed since the Mumbai attacks of November 2008, which
were blamed by India on the Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba.

In an editorial titled "Hope on the horizon", The News
daily said a "year-and-a-half of bitter acrimony is finally

It added: "This expression of goodwill is of course
welcome. Our region and its people desperately need peace.

It can be created only if India and Pakistan can work
towards the creation of a relationship that allows economic
and social benefits to reach people."

The Dawn, in its editorial "Soft breakthrough",
noted that relations between the two countries since the
Mumbai attacks had been so dismal "that even the vaguest of
commitments should be applauded".

India and Pakistan should now focus on tackling
their common problems, including terrorism, lack of
socio-economic development and communal violence.

The News said: "But the biggest issue of all is that
of terrorism. It is all very well for India to point fingers
at Pakistan and blame it for what happened at Mumbai.

But things are not quite as simple as that."
The Mumbai attacks trial in India has "exposed some
of the complexities" and there "can be no doubt that the
terrorist threat is one that arises as much from India`s
realities as from those of Pakistan".

Both these issues will have to be tackled to stop
bombings and killing, it added.

The "core issue of Kashmir is a factor in this", The
News said.

"Now that the peace process is back on track there is
an urgent need to speed up efforts and work towards a lasting
settlement that cannot be disrupted even when bombers strike
or other adverse events take place," it added.

The Daily Times, in its editorial "Leaving Mumbai
behind", too said Kashmir "should not be a taboo topic now as
there has been a sharp decrease of militancy in the area."

India "must seek to resolve matters with the
Kashmiris first before trilateral agreements can be reached.
It is high time both nations start working on age-old
problems," it said.

The Dawn cautioned that "talks about talks or
desultory talks themselves will not be good enough" as a
process that achieves "little or nothing is likely to quickly
lead to disillusionment and a sense of yet another lost

Future talks must be "focused and result-oriented".
It also sounded an optimistic note, saying "peace is
not a chimera" as liberal, secular and genuinely elected
governments were in place in India and Pakistan.

The Post, in its editorial "Progress at Thimphu",
said progress in bilateral relations between India and
Pakistan will augur well for the SAARC grouping, which
"remains a paper tiger".

Both The Frontier Post and The Nation, however, took
exception to the positive spin given to the talks in Bhutan by
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The Frontier Post, in its editorial, said it was
"perturbed at is the patently spurious and untenable upbeat
mood of Foreign Minister Qureshi".

Qureshi should exercise "caution and restraint in
his public pronouncements about this Thimphu conclave" as he
does not decide India`s foreign policy, it said.

The Nation said the resumption of the dialogue "must
not take place at the expense of national dignity and

It added that "Pakistan should not feel the need to
pamper Indian sensibilities as much as it seems Mr Qureshi has
been doing."