Bangalore International Centre had organised the Discussion on “India vs Pakistan: Why can’t we just be friends?” between Amb. Hussain Haqqani and Amb. Nirupama Rao on Tuesday, 26th July, 2016 at 6.30 PM at its auditorium. The event was chaired and moderated by Mr. Aakar Patel, Executive Director of Amnesty International India, & Writer, Columnist and former Newspaper Editor. It was a very civilised dialogue between two eminent and rational diplomats from both the countries with some witty prodding by an eminent journalist.
Amb. Nirupama Rao stressed that working on diplomatic relations away from the public glare and not in the form of an amphitheatre can do wonders for the cause. She referred to the constant failures of India- Pakistan peace talks over the years because of extreme hypes and public posturings.
Amb. Haqqani concurred with this view and suggested that India and Pakistan should agree to be friends and then resolve disputes like other world nations have done in the past. “The two nations are not at war or peace yet there is nothing normal about the relationship, which brings me to the conclusion that there is continuation of pathology of conflict between two parties,” he said.
Amb. Nirupama Rao said the vocabulary between the two nations is continuing “like a broken record with scratches”. She said: “What we require is new and visionary ideas towards resolving ties.” Often tagged a “traitor” in Pakistan, Haqqani said he is a “rational pro-Pakistani”, believing in the progress of the nation and friendly ties with India. He said that he is not an emotional Pakistani into whom the false idea that “India will take over the country one day” is constantly fed. The author also shared a few anecdotes from his interactions with different Pakistani leaders and military heads.
Mr. Aakar Patel, who chaired the session, contributed greatly to elicit the subtle nuances of the troubled relationship between the leadership of both the countries.
The audience participated in the Q & A session with much enthusiasm.