Before one begins reading this blog, I would like to clarify that I am no expert on India- Pakistan relations and I write this entry only as a concerned citizen who firmly believes that the relations between the two countries can be far better than they have been in the past.
The last six months has seen tremendous movement with respect to India – Pakistan relations. We have had two terrorist attacks on Indian soil, suspectedly sponsored by the Pakistan military and ISI combined, but surprisingly, that hasn’t triggered a complete abandonment of engagement between the governments of the two countries. Maybe, both parties have come to terms with the fact that the Pakistan Military Establishment operates independently from the government and there is no point cutting ties with each other simply because some lunatic terror groups do not wish that to happen.
Although, the foreign secretary talks were cancelled previously, one saw renewed hope after the two NSA’s met in Thailand and after PM Modi’s spontaneous visit to Pakistan resulted in foreign secretary talks being scheduled again on January’15 2016. But after the recent Pathankhot attack, that too have been “mutually postponed”. One has to notice that both sides have refrained from using any strong rhetoric which would hamper the prospects of future engagement.
If they genuinely mean to only postpone the talks and not abandon it completely, I feel the talks should continue because, as I iterated above, there is no reason to abandon the talks merely because some small minded individuals don’t want the two countries to prosper. Besides, we are witnessing a never seen before embrace by the Pakistan government who have shown a keen interest in continuing the talks and are taking prompt actions against the groups who are suspected in carrying out the Pathankhot attacks. It would be incredibly incompetent of the Indian government to not pounce on this opportunity as fiercely as they can. Also, once the talks resume, we may see a focus on bilateral trade since the same has been a focus on Modi’s foreign policy and that might end up entrenching India’s relationship with Pakistan irrevocably. In conclusion, one can only hope that the initiative PM Modi took by making a surprise visit to Lahore does not end up being unfruitful but in fact helps forge a strong bond which has been long overdue.