Pakistan and India, eagle’s eye view

Posted by Admin On Friday, 6 September 2013 0 comments
Hawks, who remained most active in India, have failed in their efforts to scuttle the meeting between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan, scheduled to be held later this month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session. The cries demanding the meeting be called off had soared following incidents at the Line of Control (LoC), in which soldiers of both countries were killed. While Pakistan has denied having a hand in any such incident, Indian opposition leaders have demanded contacts with Islamabad be suspended, with a hostile media backing this demand.
Fortunately, the Indian government has not caved in. Indian High Commissioner Dr TCA Raghavan met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, in Islamabad on September 3 to discuss the agenda for the meeting, which will be the highest level interaction between the two countries since the PML-N government took office. Reports say that it took considerable effort behind the scenes to ensure the clouds hanging over the meeting were lifted. These clouds had deepened following Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid’s warning a few days ago that a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude was being adopted vis-a-vis the meeting.
It is a positive sign that both sides seem to have made effort to get the talks back on track. The demonstration of commitment augurs well. Dr Raghavan and Mr Aziz have both spoken favourably of talks and we must hope that they can help ensure a resumption of the bilateral dialogue process. This, of course, is badly needed. But the events of the past few weeks have demonstrated just how quickly things can fall apart. This is something that also needs to be discussed between the two countries, so that ways can be found to make relations less brittle. Incidents such as those at the LoC can occur any time; this is the fact. New Delhi and Islamabad need to find a way to ensure that they do not destroy the wider peace process, which is so badly needed right now.


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