Currently Islamic Republic of Pakistan has been celebrating its 73rd Independence Day. This year is also the 60th establishment year of the diplomatic relation between Nepal and Pakistan. Nepal and Pakistan have been enjoying a six decade long bilateral relations based on mutual trust, understanding, and cooperation. Moreover, the relation between the two countries is not confined only within the governing limitations but also, they have an agelong people to people relations even before the establishment of formal diplomatic relations. And business, trade, tourism, and investment between them are getting fostered in the past decades.
Both Nepal and Pakistan are the founding members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, SAARC. There is a need of a dynamic SAARC for the peace, stability, and sustainable development in this region. However, due to the bitter relations between India and Pakistan, the proposed SAARC summit has been affected. That is why SAARC summit meeting that had to be held every year as per its statute, only 18 summit meetings could have been held in 35 years. As India expressed its inability to present in the SAARC summit meeting that had to be held in 2015 after it was convened in 2014 in Nepal, it became uncertain. Now 6 years have been elapsed and no sign of development has been so far seen during these years. Since Nepal is the chair country of SAARC, it has to take initiations for its dynamism holding talks with all countries including India. The effort of Nepal’s foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali for the initiation of holding SAARC summit during UN General Assembly could not be fruitful. However, Nepal should not observe silence after its first initiation could not succeed.
The then Prime minister of Pakistan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, during his Nepal visit immediately after Nepal’s prime minister KP Sharma got elected, had expressed his expectation of Nepal’s initiation to revive SAARC. Nepal should internalize with good intention the organizing country of 19thSAARC summit, Pakistan’s desire. The revival of SAARC in this situation will obviously provide Nepal an opportunity to increase diplomatic ability, but more than that it will heighten Nepal Pakistan relation further. At present, India and Pakistan have really bitter relations. The tension between the two countries further mounted after India annulled its Article no 370 from its constitution and deprived India ruled Jammu and Kashmir from being an autonomous state. With the increasing tension between these two atomic countries, not only they but also the whole SAARC region is affected. The friendship between these two nations that have already involved in the war thrice is the need of the SAARC region. Obviously, their collaborations will open the door of development and prosperity, it will provide strength to fight against natural disaster, poverty, and terrorism that have been common problems for South Asia. Nepal, as the chair country of SAARC, can play a significant role to cool down the tension between India and Pakistan. The tension can be minimized only if Nepal holds continue dialogues with the leaderships of the both countries with the goal of regional peace, stability, and progress rising from the domestic political issues.
No bitterness so far has ever brewed between Nepal and Pakistan during their six-decade long history. Both have supported each other during the urgency of natural calamities. Pakistan has provided scholarships to more than 500 students for the development of technical human resource in Nepal in addition to the investment in industry and tourism. We can be hopeful to see further collaborations and consolidation of bilateral relations in the days to come. We would like to extend our best wishes towards the people of Pakistan on the occasion of the 73rd national day.