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VEDANTA MASS MEDIAThere are no permanent enemies, US tells India, Pak
 


            

 

  
               There are no permanent enemies, US tells India, Pak

 


      
Washington, July 17: Asking young Indians and Pakistanis to learn from the key "principle" of US foreign policy that "there are no permanent enemies", a top American diplomat has in a pep talk told them to promote tolerance and understanding for lasting peace between their countries.

 

      "Your dedication to religious and cultural tolerance, coexistence, and dialogue is important to achieving lasting peace," Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte told a group of 32 teenagers from Mumbai and Lahore at the State Department.

 

      The top Bush administration official was participating in the "Seeds of Peace" Programme, an event attended by senior officials at Foggy Bottom and the diplomatic corps including the Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen and Pakistani envoy Husain Haqqani.

 

      "Progress is often frustratingly slow, and worse, sometimes suffers major setbacks.... A principle of US foreign policy is that we have no permanent enemies. This principle challenges us to imagine that our enemies today can be our friends tomorrow, and to work to make that vision a reality," Negroponte said.

 

      On relations with India, the official said the "strategic partnership" covers a wide variety of areas education, science, agriculture, security, environmental stewardship, and counter terrorism.

 

      "Together, we are working to solve some of the biggest challenges of our time, including energy security and nuclear non-proliferation," Negroponte said in his brief remarks.

 

      "Pakistan is also a key American partner. We are working closely with Pakistan's government and people to improve economic development, resolve food and energy problems, and counter violent extremists," he added.

Educational exchanges, the official said, are central to our efforts to deepen ties between the American people and Indians and Pakistanis.

 

      "I encourage you to seek out opportunities at home to support tolerance and understanding.... Equally important is holding on to your ability to imagine a peaceful, hopeful future... Imagination is an underrated part of foreign policy.

 

      "I know it’s often difficult, after decades of war and conflict, to imagine that the future could be not only different, but better," the senior official said.

 

      The teenagers from India and Pakistan had spent three weeks at a Camp in Maine and are now on the way home after a brief visit to Washington where they had the opportunity to interact with administration officials and on Capitol Hill.

 

      Negroponte as also the top envoys of India and Pakistan later mingled with the students.

 

      Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher pointed out that what was important is not to look at what can be done next summer but some ten and twenty years down the line.

"You are all going to make it happen," he said.

 

      Speaking on behalf of the Indian contingent, Parasit Chaudhry said what was striking was the kind of love and affection shared by all students that reflected a different version and mindset of the conflict between India and Pakistan.

 

      "We learnt from each other... we developed a bond that cannot be broken by distance," Chaudhry said, adding the discussions and the debate were "very intense at time" but the group came out with a better understanding of "tolerance, respect and trust".

 

      "You need courage to talk and listen," said Divya Saini, representing a group of several youngsters from the two countries in an informal session.

 

      Another youngster from India blamed the distortions in textbooks and by the media for the confusion.

 

      "Clearly the media is very biased and so are the textbooks...they are creating confusion leading to conflict," said Juhi Shah, adding that the changing perceptions will have to start with the youth.

 

      "... We can change the world," she said.

 

 

 

      Bureau Report

 

 

 


   

 

 

 

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International Yoga Day 21 June 2015
International Yoga Day 21 June 2015

 

 

 

 

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