20 Apr 2014 04:45 pm

Categorized | Editorial

Indo-Pak thaw, And Kashmir

The analysis of the recently concluded talks between the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan held Islamabad is that they did not yield any results. The fact is that the two countries are no closer to breaking the long-standing impasse on the Kashmir and the issue of terrorism. But that Pakistan and India were able to hold dialogue in a conducive atmosphere with a pledge to follow them up with Ministerial-level parleys next month. The hope for Indo-Pak peace relations and an end to decades of mistrust from doves on both sides has led to many expectations. As long as the spectra of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks of 2008 hangs over the two countries, confidence-building measures (CBM’s) between India and Pakistan will be affected. If India and Pakistan really want to contribute to make South-Asia a peace heaven they must bear in mind that Kashmir is the bone of contention between the Two countries and it (Kashmir) has to be taken as core issue and of course on the top of agenda in any level of Talks this will ultimately lead to the destination wherein India and Pakistan will start a new era of peace and progress in South-Asia.  Indian Foreign Secretary, Nirupama Rao was correct in calling the dialogue a “part of a process” and small steps can help move the process along. For instance, there can be a relaxation in the visa process and regular exchanges of prisoners, especially fishermen whose only crime is to accidentally cross the maritime border. Ultimately, India has to make a tough decision. Does it consider Pakistan a potential friend or a permanent foe? And that decision will be made not by foreign secretaries or even at the presidential level.  It is the Indian Foreign Policy towards Pakistan which has to be changed and the Indian Mindset. Kashmir uprising of 1989 was indigenous with its base camp in its other side of control line has attracted the world community towards the Kashmir issue and world community and its tallest leaders time and again declare Kashmir a ‘Nuclear Flash Point’ .  Islamabad is able to cope with the trust deficits that are emerging in Pakistan-US and Pakistan-Afghanistan relations with more equanimity.It is now time for the military to understand that its policy has been a failure, both on moral and tactical grounds. Until it comes to that realization, peace talks will yield only marginal benefits and not a complete normalization of relations.

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