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Editorial: Tension affects peace process

Growing tension in the region due to alarming situation between India and Pakistan over recent deadly terrorist attack at Pulwama has posed adverse impacts on US brokered peace process. The US special envoy Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad has cancelled his much important trip to Pakistan-considered major and most important stake holder in over four decades long conflict of Afghanistan. It yet to be announced that when Dr. Khalilzad would resume contacts with the Pakistani authorities. However, Indo-Pak tension is not only a matter of great concern for over one billion people of both the countries but it also made uncertain people of several other regional countries uncertain about near future. Though the war of words between the two countries is in progress but former military President of Pakistan Gen. (Retd) Pervez Musharaf had endorsed the accusation of India by saying, “Jaish-i-Muhammad could have been involved in the Pulwama terror attack that left over 40 paramilitary personnel dead.” He however, backed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stance of denying Indian government allegations that said Islamabad was providing safe havens to terrorists. In fact ex-military President is the witness not only to Indian plane hijacked to Lahore and Kandahar in 1999 but had helped the JiM chief Maulana Masud Azhar in getting release in return of plane hostages. Later after 9/11 tragedy the JiM was included in the alleged terrorist groups banned by Pakistan on January 13, 2002. However, with the passage of time almost such groups and faction were let to resume its acts and action with other similar names, with old slogans. Now when Musharaf is not able to return and remain in Pakistan, he realized the dangers due to acts and actions of these terrorist groups by saying, “It [the Pulwama terror attack] was sad. Extremely terrible. There’s no doubt about it. And I have no sympathy for Jaish –I – Muhammad Chief Masud Azhar. He tried to kill me too. But that doesn’t prove that Pakistan government was involved in it.” Whatever might be justifications on the part of Pakistan but Afghanistan, India and Iran since a long alleges that like of Jaish-i-Muhammad, several other groups are also exists that beside India controlled Kashmir are also involved in violent acts both inside Pakistan and neighbouring countries like Afghanistan. Certain politico-intelligentsia circles within Pakistan are also showing reservations over state policies, especially strategic depth inherited by ex-military dictator Zia Ul Haq and his aides like Hameed Gul. Such policies are considered major root causes of terrorism and extremism in the whole region. No one can afford war and prolonged hostilities between Pakistan and India as it would definitely affect the regional peace and harmony in particular and rest of the world in general. Rulers sitting in New Delhi and Islamabad are needs to avoid confrontation and hostilities and realise their responsibility of saving the Asian region of plunging into another round of conflicts and armed clashes at this stage. 

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