For India to improve relations with her neighbours, especially Pakistan it is imperative to explore innovative ideas. The bilateral relationship between the two nuclear states is vicissitudinal. Whenever the momentum for peace seems to be gaining strength, events such as 26/11 act as a dampener. The multi-lateral setting of SAARC too has also failed to deliver, as bilateral disputes such as Kashmir act as an impediment to the functioning of the organization.
In this scenario, border provinces such as the Kashmir's, Rajasthan-Sind and the Punjab's could play a valuable role in improving the relationship between the two countries. As a consequence of economic incentives, the logic of geography and cultural commonalities these provinces have greater stakes in a manageable if not perfect relationship between India and Pakistan.
Tridivesh Singh Maini has authored 'South Asian Cooperation and the Role of the Punjabs', and co-authored 'Humanity Amidst Insanity: Hope During and After the Indo-Pak Partition' with Tahir Malik and Ali Farooq Malik. He is also one of the editors of " Warriors after War: Indian and Pakistani Retired Military Leaders Reflect on Relations Between the Two countries, Past Present and Future", being published by Peter Lang. This book is a collection of interviews with retired army officials from India and Pakistan. Maini graduated from the University of Sheffield in Great Britain in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics (Honours). He then received an MA in International Development from The School of International Service, Washington D.C. in 2004, and has worked as a Senior Staff Writer with The Indian Express, New Delhi and as a Research Associate with The Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.
The discussant will be Ambassador IP Khosla. Ambassador Khosla was educated at St. Stephens College, Delhi University and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, MA (Economics). He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1960 and served initially in Vienna and Algiers, where he helped to establish the Embassy, and in Myanmar. He has also served as Counselor (POL) in London. Thereafter he served as India’s Ambassador to Bhutan, High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Ambassador to Afghanistan, and to the Netherlands. He was Secretary to government in the Ministry of External Affairs, 1989-92. Ambassador Kholsa has written extensively on security issues including non-traditional security, as also on other matters relating to India’s external interests, particularly India’s relations with South Asian neighbors, and SAARC. He is currently Member Secretary of the Indian Council for South Asian Cooperation and Editor- in- Chief of South Asian Survey, the biannual journal/publication of the Council.