Senior Congress leader and India's former information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari has said that Pakistan is suffering from difficulties of its own creation and can only become stable if it dismantles terror networks operating from its soil.
"Pakistan is in a difficulty and the difficulty is of their own creation. The fact is actually that they have sponsored infrastructure of non-state actors and those non-state actors have now come to bite them, coupled with the political instability which we are seeing," Tewari said while participating in a public conversation programme on the theme "Media Diplomacy: Challenging the Indo-Pak Narrative" organized by the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C. on Monday.
The conversation focused on the influence of media on public perception in both countries.
Pakistani Senator Mushahid Hussain also participated in the discussion.
"There is need for Pakistani people, those who believe that a strong and prosperous Pakistan is in the interest of South Asia at large and to recognize that these policies have not paid off, and eventually, the stabilization of Pakistan would come when these terror networks or this whole infrastructure of non-state instrumentalists is dismantled by them, that would be the starting point of Pakistan's stabilization," he added.
Asserting that there is a very strain relationship between India and Pakistan since 1947, Tewari said the two sides carry the baggage of partition and have fought four wars since independence.
Dismissing the role of media behind the estranged relations between the two Asian neighbours, Tewari said it is imbecile and childish to say that media has played a corrosive role and is responsible for the state of play between India and Pakistan.
Citing the Shimla agreement which was was signed between India and Pakistan on July 2, 1972, Tewari said the dispute between the two sides is circumscribed this agreement and envisages that whatever outstanding disputes are there would be revolved bilaterally.
"India has maintained irrespective of whichever party has been in office that there is no role for any third party intervention be it United States Of America , be it China or any other country," he said.
Explaining the importance of Track Two diplomacy, he said that when there are moments of tension between the two countries, there is a situation where they are not talking to each other , Track One and half , track two and track three are good way of keeping the conversation going.
Tewari added that the most important thing the Track Two does is that the ideas which cannot be incubated in Track One because people are bound to the positions which their respective governments have taken out, this can be debated can be incubated in Track One and Two and filtered into Track One and that's where the importance of Track Two comes.
He emphasized that media diplomacy or an effort by the media on both side to need to try and build a counter narrative of convergence, a counter narrative which takes into account the realities of India and Pakistan which would help in moderating the relationship between both sides.
Tewari said India should take eventually incremental steps forward in order to improve the relationship between the two countries.
"If we are looking for a great bargain between India and Pakistan that's not going to happen. The fact is there are different perceptions on huge bunch of issues and those different perception remain but not withstanding that incremental steps like ample day visas between Amritsar and Lahore ,allowing journalists to be there in both the countries , co produce content on digital and broadcast platform which actually will be a starting point," he added.
Earlier, stressing on improving ties with India, Pakistani Senator Mushahid Hussain said New Delhi and Islamabad should have a strategic stake in each other's economic development backed by their political leaderships.
"We as nations should have a strategic stake in each other's economic development backed by the political leaderships," Hussain said
He also stressed on the importance of unity between media of both nations and said there should be a free movement of books, publications and news between the two countries.
The remarks by the Pakistani senator comes at a time when tensions are running high between the two South Asian neighbours amid a spree of ceasefire violations and cross-border infiltration from Pakistan side.
Relations between India and Pakistan worsened after several terror attacks, including one on an Indian military base in Uri and also on an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.
The situation between both nations further deteriorated after a Pakistan military court announced a death sentence to former Indian Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav.
Relations between the two nations have been particularly worsened after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks by Pakistan-based terrorists claimed the lives of 166 people and maimed over 300 others.