29 November, 2020

Admiral (retd) Laxminarayan Ramdas

This year’s Magsaysay awardee for Indo-Pak peace initiatives on post-retirement activism and his Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy

Admiral (retd) Laxminarayan Ramdas
You must be delighted.
Frankly, I was surprised. It's still sinking in.

A committed defence officer involved in Indo-Pak peace efforts?
The first chairman of the forum, the great Nirmal Mookerji, nearly arm-twisted me, but my mind was made up. Wars have not got us anywhere.

You made a U-turn?
Not really. As navy chief, I concluded that cooperation and convergence is the way. The forum was a great opportunity to do this.

What has the forum done in the last decade?
We made deep impacts on the minds of people of both India and Pakistan. Long process but you see attitudinal changes. You have a great cricket series. We now hear little of the isi rhetoric.

What was it like when the forum began?
Great suspicion, little curiosity, some caution on both sides. We evolved slowly.

The forum avoids political stances.
It's not in our terms of reference. We interact on visa regime and opening borders.

J&K and terrorism are the defining issues.
All violence from militants or security...


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