Experience of SAARC has not been encouraging: Hamid Ansari

Idealism has to be tempered with realism and common action is easier done in areas of convergence than of divergence

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Geetanjali Minhas | December 29, 2016 | Mumbai


#Hamid Ansari   #Sudheendra Kulkarni   #SAARC   #book launch  

 Vice President Hamid Ansari has called for a practical, accommodative and inclusionary approach to ease negative perceptions of post partition tensions between India and Pakistan. 

Emphasising that political commitment and modalities were needed to resolve outstanding areas of disagreement, Ansari said that foremost amongst these is what the Simla Agreement of 1972 called ‘a final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir’.
 
Addressing a gathering on Wednesday after releasing the book ‘August Voices: What they said on 14-15 August 1947’ by  Sudheendra Kulkarni,  Hamid Ansari  said: “The State is doing all that is necessary to confront and repel terrorism. The State also has a duty to ensure that the rights and dignity of our citizens in the State are respected and ensured and shortcomings effectively addressed.”
 
The book explores, thoughts, actions and writings of, among others, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohammed Ali Jinnah as well as Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad on August 14-15, 1947.
 
The vice president said the experience of SAARC has not been encouraging and therefore alternate strategies need to be explored. He added that the proposed new structure would have to be voluntary and devoid of overt or covert coercion. There may be lessons to be learnt from other regional organizations.
 
“Idealism has to be tempered with realism and common action is easier done in areas of convergence than of divergence. This convergence is to be sought by moving beyond the traditional paradigm of conventional security into those of human security and human wrong. Both are ignored by the governments and societies in our region; there is a crying need for the recognition and implementation of both,” added the vice president.
 
“A beginning therefore has to be made in regional cooperation with a focus on human security problems, on movement of people and on trade without unreasonable restrictions. The common traits in cultural traditions and historical narratives need to be transmitted to younger generation through conscious promotion rather than studied prevention of cultural exchanges, films, and other cultural activities,” he said.
 
Sudheendra Kulkarni, author of the book and chairman, Observer Research Foundation, told Governance Now: “The book aims to correct the mistakes of the past and the manner in which two partitions took place in the years in 1947 and 1971 which have created problems for three countries. The partitions cannot be undone but the negative effects of the partition should be undone by bringing the three countries together in a confederal framework so that all the three nations are separate, yet together.”
 

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