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Resume dialogue

Resume dialogue
Highlights

A few days after the collapse of talks, came the announcement on the meeting of the chiefs of border security of both India and Pakistan scheduled for next month. Diplomacy cannot be held hostage to hawkish positions. Both the countries should realise that they have no other way except to talk to each other. Geography cannot be altered. India has no choice over its neighbours.

A few days after the collapse of talks, came the announcement on the meeting of the chiefs of border security of both India and Pakistan scheduled for next month. Diplomacy cannot be held hostage to hawkish positions. Both the countries should realise that they have no other way except to talk to each other. Geography cannot be altered. India has no choice over its neighbours.

It should be alive to the reality. Escalation of tensions between two nuclear powers could prove to be disastrous. Pakistan is a failed and flawed state. Democracy here is an infantile disorder. The state and the society of Pakistan have been long militarized. The country is ruled by military adventurism, religious fundamentalism, political opportunism and narco terrorism.

These sinister forces always want to disturb the peace process in the subcontinent as they breed on hostilities. India’s diplomatic approach in dealing with such a situation, therefore, should be aimed at frustrating the evil designs of such forces. Resumption of dialogue with all its limitations would be antidote to the anti-India designs.

But, peace talks have to encounter two intractable issues –Kashmir and terrorism. The two countries have completely divergent positions. These two issues are at the root of the hostilities. India wants any resolution of Kashmir issue only through bilateral negotiations. But, Pakistan always attempts to internationalise the issue.

India considers the accession of Kashmir is complete and irreversible while Pakistan feels that the issue is not yet closed. We call those who disturb peace and tranquility in Kashmir as terrorists and militants. But, Pakistan unabashedly glorifies them as patriots fighting a holy war. Thus, there is no common ground.

Similarly India is a victim of Pakistan-sponsored cross border terrorism. Pakistan is a perpetrator of dreaded terrorism. Not just India, Russia, Afghanistan also earlier made similar complaints. How can there be a consensus between a victim and a perpetrator? The US which has the ability to influence Pakistan has a different take on this.

While India conclusively proves that Pakistan is the problem, the US considers Islamabad as part of the solution. Pakistan may be experiencing terror attacks. But, it is its own making. To defend its ugly acts, Pakistan is now resorting to preposterous campaign that India is interfering in its internal affairs. But, the history is there to tell. India never demonstrated any extra territorial designs. India has committed itself to a voluntary moratorium on the use of nuclear weapons indicating its uncompromising commitment to peace.

Given this unfavourable context, the only wayout is to initiate a composite dialogue process which includes both Kashmir and terrorism. If this is not acceptable, at least the two countries can begin talking to each other on issues like trade, economic ties, cultural relations, people-to-people contacts where there is little scope for divergence. Such a beginning can be accompanied by mutual confidence-building measures. India should take steps to see that the average Pakistani has strong stakes in peace with India. Talks alone can create this.

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