Let olive branch grow

Updated: 2012-04-10 08:06

(China Daily)

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In what is widely perceived as a significant goodwill move, Asif Ali Zardari, the president of Pakistan, paid a one-day trip to India on Sunday to discuss a wide range of issues with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Zardari's visit, though a private one, was the first visit to India by Pakistan's head of state since 2005, and is the latest sign of improving relations between the two former archrivals.

His trip was more than just symbolic, as Zardari invited Singh to visit Pakistan, and the Indian prime minister accepted the invitation. Frequent exchanges at high-levels will help build the mutual trust that is desperately needed to overcome the territorial and trade disputes that keep souring their relations.

The international community has warmly welcomed the improvement in ties between two countries that have fought three wars since they gained independence from British rule in 1947.

Peaceful coexistence between the two countries is indispensable for the region.

As two nuclear-armed heavyweights on the South Asian subcontinent, Islamabad and New Delhi have a shared responsibility to help maintain regional stability and promote regional harmony. For the benefit of their two peoples and those in the region at large, they should continue to work for a durable peace.

As a close neighbor to both India and Pakistan, China is pleased to see the two countries improving their ties, and hopes Islamabad and New Delhi will continue to build on their positive momentum.

Beijing attaches great importance to maintaining good-neighborly relations with both countries and fully supports their reconciliation. China and Pakistan have been "all-weather friends" over the past decades and it has been cooperating with India both bilaterally and under the framework of BRICS, the bloc of five major emerging economies that also includes Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

Pakistan said in February that it would phase out major restrictions on Indian imports by the end of the year, this is also positive as increased trade between the two countries will not only boost their economies but also bring tangible benefits to the two peoples.

(China Daily 04/10/2012 page8)