Kolkata: Urging both India and Pakistan to rise above differences to resolve conflicts peacefully, famed Urdu poet Muhammad Iqbal's grandson and prominent Pakistani politician Waleed Iqbal on Friday said he is "cautiously optimistic" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiatives regarding foreign relations.
"This is not about individuals.. it is about institutions and political ideologies. As far as Modi's party goes, during his BJP government's tenure, there have been phases of constructive dialogue but somehow they go derailed due to some reasons which is unfortunate for us.
"I am cautiously optimistic of the Modi government," he told the media here in response to a poser on Modi's initiatives to strengthen relations with various countries.
He accepted that the perception is that of Modi "keeping Pakistan under pressure" which could be due to him playing to the galleries but asserted both countries need to rise above such political agenda.
"It looks as if Modi government is keeping Pakistan under pressure. This could be due to a domestic reason, due to ideological constituency, there is some playing to the galleries as well. But we need to rise above that, on both sides," he said.
Talking on the recent reports of Pakistan flags being raised in Kashmir, Waleed acknowledged the ongoing dispute but batted for a distinct identity for Kashmir.
"There is an issue and a dispute. There is some playing to galleries on both sides. Everyone wants a peaceful and constructive solution with the best interests of all stakeholders. If we solve this then the sky is the limita the entire region can progress.
"If we provide a kind of status to Kashmir, the way Nepal and Bhutan have, then we can form a south Asian union like the European Union," he said.