A stubborn and romantic optimist, I cannot and will not give up dreaming of a world in which India and Pakistan finally overcome their reciprocal insanity and start a journey towards life beyond communal madness. The first step in this direction would have to be a readiness on each side to stop putting the blame for the past madness and evil on the other and accept that mistakes and blunders have been committed on both sides.
The moment one of them takes the initiative to own up to its own part in the blunders and sins and crimes, even in an acceptably limited and small measure, this will make it a lot easier for the other to see the wisdom in responding positively.
Yes, pious sentiments apart, there are some tangibles which are seemingly insurmountable such as the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. The good thing is that both sides have repeatedly agreed in writing to resolve it "bilaterally." The value of this agreement on bilateralism is far more profoundly significant than most people on both sides seem to realise.
For one thing, this means that neither India nor Pakistan is in a denial mode: both openly accept that there is a problem to be solved. And that by itself is a very healthy sign. And then, both sides need to remember how close they had come to the solution of the problem during the Vajpayee-Mushraff era, and subsequently between Nawaz Sharif and Manmohan Singh.
What this means is that this problem is not an impossible one to resolve even at the cold diplomatic and political levels.
If one wants to put forward arguments against such optimism, there are about a thousand which I alone can put on the table. "Pakistan is a rogue state: its paradigm itself is negatively oriented against peace: the Pak "establishment" has a vested interest in defeating all attempts at peace: Pakistan's very rationale is based on an ideology of hatred and antagonism: there is something fundamentally flawed in the philosophy of Pakistan etc etc etc.." from the apostles of hate in India.
The hate mongers’ loss will be India-Pakistani Millions’ gain
And " India is a Hindu state which has never accepted the reality of Pakistan's existence from the core of its hart: the Hindus are reared on a philosophy of anti-Islam and scratch any Hindu just a little, and you will find a Muslim-hater: the Hindus are cunning, and utterly unreliable Kaafirs. Hindus and Hindus and Muslims are Muslims and never the twain shall meet'" - and such other outrageous lies.
But everyone even mildly educated in both Hinduism and Islam knows that neither of the two religions preaches hatred against the other, but petty followers of both religions who do not understand their own faith do.
And these petty followers on both sides, and not their respective faith, are the whole trouble.
So that this world is not engulfed by self-destructive flames of communal and jingoistic madness, the effort towards finding some space for sanity must not only go on but must be doubled and redoubled every following moment.
Otherwise, every Nagasaki and every Hiroshima has justifiers.
As things stand, everyone claims he wants to avoid hatred and war and everyone has an excuse for starting it.