Pakistani editor Rehana Hakim voices pessimism on ensuing SAARC meet

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New Delhi, Apr 21 (ANI): Rehana Hakim, Editor of Newsline Pakistan, sounded pessimistic about the outcome of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Bhutan.

Addressing the media here on Tuesday, Hakim said there were several stumbling blocks which affected the healthy functioning of SAARC.

"I have been quite sceptical about it (SAARC meet) because, I feel, 25 years down the road, we have not even managed to get basic things like you know, easing the Visa regiment between the SAARC countries, and, getting each other's publications across the border. These are very basic things," she said.

"I think there are two issues. One, it gets hijacked by India and Pakistan each time. I think they are the stumbling blocks. Number two, I feel that whenever they have a set of resolutions at the end of the day, they have about 30 to 40 resolutions and I feel that everything gets filtered and everything gets lost. So I feel if you are to focus on a couple of goals, four or five and work towards that, I think that would be a better idea," she added.

To a poser on the resumption of talks between India and Pakistan, she observed that unless both the countries drop their conditions, fruitful dialogue is not possible.

"If both countries drop all these conditionalities and just talk, I think we can move forward. The political governments also have the will to move forward in improving their relations," she said.

Mehbooba Shiraz, a journalist from Afghanistan, who is a part of the delegation hailed India's role in Afghanistan and said that India has been playing an extremely constructive role in Afghanistan.

"The help of India in Afghanistan, the way I see it, has been extremely constructive. I do appreciate very much and all of the Afghans will appreciate very much the help of this giant neighbour (India) of ours," Shiraz said. (ANI)

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