Pakistani analysts and former diplomats have termed the Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's visit as a breakthrough and believe that it will positively affect the future relations of Islamabad and New Delhi. Tahir Ali reports.
Talking to rediff.com, Defence analyst Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi says, "Although the visit cannot make a big difference at the moment, but would produce a better platform in future talks between the two countries. During the meeting, amicable environment prevailed. This would determine the direction for future talks and we hope that it will bring positive results."
Before leaving for India, Zardari held a meeting with Prime Minister Gilani and Chief of Army Staff General Kayani.
Political analyst Hasan Askari says, "The meeting among Zardari and Kayani shows that political and army leadership are on board when they are taking any decision regarding relations with India."
Shahid M Amin, a foreign policy analyst and former Ambassador to several countries says, "I think the body language and environment was good. It is good that Dr Singh has announced his trip to Pakistan. He has been mentioning about his visit to Pakistan since the last few years, but still hasn't come. This time he has at least said he will visit at the end of this year."
Talking about hurdles in the ways of talks and good relations between the two countries he says, "Some circles both in India and Pakistan have always derailed the process of dialogue between the two countries but these elements should realise that the final solution is dialogue. At the moment, the comparatively simple issues such as Siachen and Sir Creek should be solved immediately otherwise these issues would remain forever."
Zafar Hilali, one of Pakistan's senior most diplomats says, "At the moment Pakistan is under pressure from three different countries -- India, Afghanistan and the United States -- if Pakistan relations with New Delhi become normal, it would ease much of this pressure."
He adds, "India is a traditional source of pressure for Pakistan, but since last one year and New Delhi's attitude has been changing, which is a good sign and one could hope for peaceful future."
Commenting over Zardari's visit to India, senior analyst Dr Riffat Hussain suggests that the visit should be an official one.
"If the visit is considered to be a breakthrough and it has to achieve success, then it should be an official visit instead of a private one," he says.
Defence analyst Brig (retired) Talat Masood said that it does not matter whether the visit is a private or an official one, the thing that matters is good relations between the two countries.
"If the visit did not bring success, at least it would not bring any bad results,", Masood adds.