A debate on Indo-Pak relations today observed that there was a need for consensus among the political parties of both the nations for lasting peace between the two neighbours.
The debate, participated by eminent Indian and Pakistani diplomats, lawyers, parliamentarians and media personalities, also suggested that civil societies of both the countries could contribute to build trust by taking it as a challenge and support those leaders who favour peace.
The debating societies of India and Pakistan had organised a debate on the topic 'Engagement between members of civil society is by far the most important factor in promoting a lasting peace between India and Pakistan' here.
"For lasting peace, there is need to build consensus among the political parties of both the countries. Rising above the jingoism, the civil society should put pressure to advance the cause of peace," Pakistan's noted media personality and political commentator Najam Sethi said.
He said they should take it as a challenge and support those leaders who are in favour of peace process as media of both the countries have sabotaged the efforts taken by the leaders of both the countries.
While addressing the debate, Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar said, despite escalation in tension between the two countries due to recent developments in Kashmir, no one wants a war.
He said that government, in last 65 years, had worked for peace and would continue to work for it. "Civil society is critically important and government would take a lead in moving the civil society for the cause."
Pakistan's former Information and Broadcasting Minister Javed Jabbar stressed on the need for civil society and media to know more about his country.
"Conventional mindset, that the country is under the army has to be changed. It has matured enough and we have a democracy. There is need to have a trade relation between the two countries just like the one South East Asian countries have. It would help in defusing the territorial dispute," he said, adding that peaceful relations is of pivotal importance.
Minister of State for Human Resource Shashi Tharoor moderated the debate, in which India's former Foreign Secretary Salman Haider, journalist Shoma Chaudhuri, actor Kabir Bedi participated.
Apart from Jabbar and Sethi, those who participated include Pakistan's television journalist Wajahat Khan and renowned lawyer Salman Raja.