Pakistanis ‘fed up’ with India rivalry


ISLAMABAD: Nearly half of the Pakistanis, or 49%, are of the opinion that air and land connections between their country and neighbouring India should be restored, according to a new survey – reflecting a trend that despite the traditional hostilities shared by the governments of the two nations since 1947, this is not necessarily what the people on both sides of the border want.

The survey conducted by Gallup & Gilani Pakistan further revealed that when a nationally representative sample of adult men and women from across the country was asked this question, 32% replied in the negative and 19% either said they did not know or gave no response.

The Pakistani affiliate of Gallup International carried out the survey among a sample of 1,023 men and women in urban as well as rural areas of all four provinces of the country.

It was conducted from January 3 to 18 this year.

According to the survey, the margin of error is estimated to be around 2% to 3% at the 95% confidence level.

The methodology used for data collection was telephonic surveys.

Thousands of families remain divided three-quarters of a century after their countries were formed in the rupture of independence from British-ruled India in 1947.

Britain’s carving out new nations by splitting the two, as its empire ebbed after World War II, triggered mass sectarian migration in both directions, marred by bloodshed and violence on both sides.

About 15 million people changed countries, mainly based on religion, and more than a million were killed in religious riots in the 1947 Partition, according to independent estimates.

The already fraught relations between the two countries further plummeted in August 2019, when New Delhi stripped Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) of its longstanding semi-autonomous status.

The controversial move instantly prompted Islamabad to downgrade its diplomatic ties and halt trade with New Delhi.

Ever since, the two neighbours have not missed an opportunity to denounce the other at international and regional forums.

A February 2021 treaty that brought an end to nearly daily clashes along the Line of Control (LoC) — a de facto border that divides the picturesque Jammu and Kashmir between the two neighbours — has been the “sole” positive development in terms of relations.

Military veterans from India and Pakistan foresee a slim chance of a full-fledged war between the two nuclear armed neighbours, dubbing it an “inconceivable” idea.

They also called for “political engagement” to resolve long-pending disputes, including the Kashmir