‘Pakistani youth warming up to India’

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HYDERABAD, January 7, 2014: Anti-India sentiment exists no more among the Pakistani youth, but they may be jealous of the positive aspects that India is identified with, according to Stephen P. Cohen, senior fellow, Brookings Institution, University of Illinois.

“The Pakistani youth increasingly likes India in its own way. They are jealous of the political stability and of the Indian economy.” Indian film stars, Indian music and other systems were the favourites for many Pakistanis. Mr. Cohen was giving a talk on ‘Peace and Growth in South Asia,’ jointly organised by the U.S. Consulate General and the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) in the city on Monday.

India, for its part, should also do away with the provocative gestures, such as the daily border ceremony at Wagah, to facilitate a congenial atmosphere to promote peace, Mr. Cohen said.

However, he felt that the real danger was the Pakistani Taliban. The challenge for both the countries was to tap the full potential of the trade between both the nations.

Rating South Asia as the least economically integrated region in the world, he said hostility was hampering its development. It was important for the U.S. to ensure that the vacuum was filled before leaving Afghanistan as it would otherwise create bigger problems from Taliban.

Given the common interests among the countries in the region, he visualised a United States of South Asia in the coming 50 years, with cricket being among the uniting elements.

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