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Posted on Nov 17, 12:05PM | IBNS
Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday said that India and Pakistan should emulate the European Union to improve bilateral relations.
Speaking at the HT Leadership Summit here, the former President said friendly relations between nuclear-armed neighbours were vital for the progress and development of South Asia.
Musharraf said visas should be eased between the two countries. "I was not given a visa during my last trip to India," he said.
He stressed on the importance of improving communication and trade.
"Why can't someone drive from Lahore to Amritsar?" he said, adding that trains and buses should be allowed to travel freely between the two countries.
Musharraf said when he was in power, Pakistan used to export cement to India and trucks of cement used to go to the Wagah border, where men carried the cement bags from the Pakistani trucks and placed them in Indian trucks waiting for them across the border.
He said we should learn from Europe, which has fought through the ages, but now allowed easy communication between the European Union countries. "We should emulate Europe's example," he said.
Stating that India and Pakistani intelligence agencies have been engaged in a proxy war since the fifties, he said the leadership in both countries should stop them from doing so.
Stressing on the importance of "niyat", which he described roughly as sincere intention, the former President said both India and Pakistan should work together to solve their issues.
"Compromise and accommodation should come from the bigger and the stronger," he said, adding that people interpreted it negatively if it came from the "smaller and weaker".
Speaking on Kashmir, Musharraf said both the countries should work together to solve the Kashmir issue.
He suggested demilitarization of the area, giving the local people maximum self-governance and making the Line Of Control irrelevant by opening up a number of routes to better the situation in Kashmir.