Amritsar, Mar 24: Declaring that India was sincerely committed to the prosperity, unity, development and well-being of Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today (Mar 24, 2006) took the bilateral peace process to a new plane by offering a Treaty of Peace, Security and Friendship to the neighbouring country.
Launching the Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus service at a function here, Dr Singh also made it clear that India was not afraid of discussing Jammu and Kashmir or any other outstanding issue with Pakistan for finding pragmatic and practical solutions.
He, however, rejected Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's oft-repeated statement that the process of normalisation between the two countries could not move forward unless the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was resolved. "A step-by-step approach has to be adopted given the inherent difficulties in finding practical solutions." Obviously in the context of Jammu and kashmir, he suggested that both India and Pakistan begin a dialogue with the people in their areas of control to improve the quality of governance so as to give the people of both sides a greater chance of leading a life of dignity and self-respect.
Instead of looking at each other as adversaries, India and Pakistan must have the courage to see each other as supporting the other for the realisation of a better tomorrow for the people of the two countries.
"I have a vision that the peace making process must ultimately culminate in our two countries entering into a Treaty of Peace, Security and Friendship to give meaning and substance to our quest for shared goals.
I make this offer to the people of Pakistan on this historic occasion. I am sure the leadership of Pakistan will reciprocate." he added.