Asserting that people-to-people contact should be encouraged to further normalise Indo-Pak relations, a former judge from the neighbouring country on Tuesday said politicians in his nation are no longer able to garner votes for their anti-India tirade.
"Ten years back, there was a scenario that a politician got votes for his anti-India tirade. But today, things have changed, now one who talks of building better relations (with India) is favoured, which indicates a change," Chaudhry Mohammed Ramzan, former judge of the Islamabad high court and a member of the Pakistan Bar Council said.
He said people-to-people contact should be encouraged to further normalise the relations between India and Pakistan. There are numerous families who have relatives and friends living on both sides of the border.
"Visas should be simplified. Any genuine person who wants to come should be given a visa. There should be no restriction," said Ramzan, who is in India on the invitation of the Bar Councils of different states, including Punjab and Haryana.
He said that his parents hailed from Tehshil Ajnala in Amritsar district.
"After the partition when our family settled in Pakistan, my mother used to yearn for visiting her hometown but could not do so because of visa restrictions those days...She died with this unfulfilled desire of not being able to visit her native place," Ramzan said.
"Whatever positions the establishments of the two nations may hold towards each other but people on the two sides of the border have only love to share...the two countries had looked at each other with hatred in the past but this bitterness should not be transferred to our next generation," he said.
He said people from both sides want better relations.
"We can be good friends. Let trade be encouraged. We give you dry fruits and other things and you give us at reasonable rates what we lack. Why should we import such things from other countries," Ramzan said favouring better trade ties.
On the last week's visit of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to India and inviting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit his country, he said, "It's a good thing and a step forward...Dialogue is the only way forward to resolve all outstanding issues."