Pinning expectations on the new government in Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] on Friday hoped the two neighbours would be able to put the 'past behind' and move forward with a 'sense of urgency' without 'false fears or narrow agendas'.
Underlining that borders do not change needs, Dr Singh said India and Pakistan should work together in facing the common economic and social challenges of 'enormous' magnitude.
"I have been heartened by the very positive statements made by the new leaders (of Pakistan)," Dr Singh said after inaugurating a bridge in Akhnoor over river Chenab.
Noting that India and Pakistan have had friendly dialogue on all issues that affect the live of Jammu and Kashmir [Images], he expressed the hope that New Delhi will continue to 'deepen its dialogue with the democratically-elected government' in Islamabad.
"I hope that we (India and Pakistan) will be able to put the past behind us and that we can move forward with a sense of urgency, not inhibited by false fears or narrow agendas," said the prime minister who arrived in Jammu & Kashmir on a two-day visit.
"We (India and Pakistan) face common economic and social challenges of enormous magnitude," the prime minister said, adding, "It makes so much sense to work together to face them. After all, for all democratic governments, the highest responsibility is to meet the needs and aspirations of their people."
Pointing out that the needs and aspirations of people are same all over the world, Dr Singh identified these as roti (food), kapda (clothing) and makaan (housing).
"Borders do not change needs or challenges."
Later, addressing the first convocation of Mata Vaishnodevi University at Katra, Dr Singh said with the return of democracy in Pakistan, India and Pakistan have a 'unique opportunity to join hands for a lasting era of peace and tranquillity'.
He suggested that borders had lost their old relevance in the modern world of globalisation due to communications.
"Everywhere, people wish to be connected to their neighbours. This is true of the people of India and Pakistan, including people living on both sides of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir," the prime minister said.
"Like water, human sentiments in favour of peace and friendship also flow freely and true democracy is one in which such sentiments are able to find free expression," he said.
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