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Friday, July 25, 2008

The Shalimar Gardens :

A seminar took me to Lahore. The topic was: Rapprochement between India and Pakistan. Among the participants were scholars and retired diplomats from Germany and France. Their experience of striking friendship after hundreds of years of war was their input. They argued that certain members of the government elite had to undergo a personal “conversion.” Public opinion followed later.
With India and Pakistan, it is different. Bureaucrats who formulate and execute policy for a détente between the two countries are “mindset” and they are far from converted. The initiative has been by the people. Whatever progress has been made to lessen tension, it is because of them. They, too, have their eyes fixed on how France and Germany reached the equation.

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