India-Pakistan group lauds Modi’s Ramadan wishes to Pakistan

Mumbai, June 17 (IANS) The Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD) on Wednesday hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s greetings to Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif for Ramadan, the holy month starting on Thursday.

The PIPFPD also lauded India’s decision to release Pakistani fisherfolk from Indian jails to enable them to spend the Islamic holy month of fasting with their families at home.

“While we appreciate these welcoming decisions by the PMO, we strongly feel that these efforts to maintain friendly relations with Pakistan should be consistent and not in fits and starts,” the PIPFPD — India Chapter urged in a statement signed by Asha Hans, Anuradha Bhasin, Jatin Desai, Tapan Bose, Sumit Chakravarty, Manoranjan Mohanty and others.

On Tuesday, Modi called up Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina Wajed and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and extended greetings on the occasion of Ramadan.

However, the PIPFPD said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has been conveying confusing signals and gestures while dealing on India-Pakistan relations.

“While on one side we feel happy that a return gesture is finally shown from the Indian side by releasing Pakistani fishermen, we are also worried about the double standards of the Indian government,” the PIPFPD noted.

“The recent war of words initiated by Modi himself which was followed by insensitive statements of his colleagues Manohar Parikkar and Rajyawardhan Rathore about Pakistan on various occasions, are clear indications of these double standards,” it added.

Terming this as a portrayal of lack of diplomatic etiquette in leaders making intimidating remarks, the PIPFPD said these war-mongering remarks not only create a hostile situation, but also encourage a culture of hatred and hegemonic depictions of masculinity implied by the increased military budgets and strength, and highlight each other’s weapons stockpiles.

“Some of the best lessons learnt from wars across the world are about how best to avoid them in future and opt for peace instead,” the statement said.

“We urge the leaders of both countries to immediately cease and desist making jingoistic comments. And, to walk the real talk on building peaceful, friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries and not alternating it with bellicose rhetoric,” it added.

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