Indo-Pak Affairs Opinion

Indo-Pak Foriegn secretaries hope for dialogue resumption-Breaking Ice???

A usual rigidity was not found in brief joint statement issued after Sunday’s meeting in Thimphu between the Pakistani and Indian foreign secretaries. Analysts are referring this a new start for both countries and breaking ice after Mumbai attacks in 2008. Cliche Kashmir and terrorism issue was avoided in press release. Mr. Sulman Bashir said Pakistan looked forward to a “purposeful engagement with India”, while Ms. Nirupama Rao declared that a dialogue between Islamabad and New Delhi was “a must” if the two were to resolve “the outstanding issues”. Both foreign secretaries agreed that India and Pakistan need to resume constructive dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues between these decades-long rivals.

Keeping in view the threats of terrorism that includes not cross border but both India and Pakistan have been afflicted within. Taliban militants in Pakistan and India has assortment of Hindu extremists. The fact that both countries are facing same problems and looking for same solutions when it comes to terrorism; helped India realizing the importance of coming to negotiation table once again. The Samjhauta Express bombing resulting in killing of 68 people, including 42 Pakistani nationals, was initially being pinned on extremists from Pakistan. However, it has now come to light that the bombing was the work of Hindu extremist Swami Aseemanand, a leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), who confessed to this and other terror activities. India and Pakistan both were at cold silence after Mumbai attacks.

The importance of the dialogue between two nuclear-armed neighboring countries can not be overshadowed as to this is for first time both countries have once again initiated a possibility of a dialogue resumption after the meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna in Islamabad in July last year. Dialogue was once again given key importance in Thimpu last year on the sidelines of the SAARC summit, in the same vein as seen on Sunday.

India now looking for opening the avenues one more time to talk about the issues, as it has brought enough bad name for it for not having wish to resolve the issues that has threatened entire region. Diffusing this impact overall the wish to resume dialogue is an encouraging step. However this is known to everyone that India wants sound strategy from Pakistan to curb the terrorism and Pakistan is looking for an end to the Kashmir issue.

People in India and Pakistan have heard these long communications repeatedly whatever with restricted or long pending agendas. Despite willingness shown by both sides to resume constructive talks, no future date was set for the resumption of the dialogue. Thus a deadlock seems to persist. On part of foreign secretaries; a small step comes as old wine in new bottle. However eyebrows are raised over the future of communications and wish to continue will be translated into action. It is yet not determined whether they themselves will meet again and if they will be able to remove the hurdles in the way of useful restart of communications, what are they going to make the agenda as possibility now-forgotten composite dialogue that began in Islamabad in February 2004 appears remote.

About the author

Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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