The Bold Voice of J&K

Talks needed

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With the political battle in Pakistan shifting from streets to the Parliament with pro-government leaders and lawmakers of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party accusing each other of undermining democracy, the impasse continues. In a significant development PTI and Canadian cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri agreed to talk to committee of opposition politicians seeking to mediate between embattled Nawaz Sharif led government and the protesters. Unstable Pakistan is not good for India and now with talks between India and Pakistan remaining at called off status New Delhi’s stand is seen by the pro-talk group as going back to 1997 position. They fear that letting irritants play up in this fashion will take both countries to a time when there were no talks at all because New Delhi and Islamabad could not get past Kashmir. India should redraw its Pakistan policy. The incumbent government of Pakistan headed by Nawaz Sharif who has been deposed by coups twice before – is the first government resulting out of a democratic transition of power in Pakistan. Opposition leader Imran Khan and maverick cleric Qadri are demanding Sharif’s resignation. The situation may take a change if the army, which has been silently watching, steps in. Given his strength in the Parliament Sharif has taken a tough stand  as exemplified by his decision to travel to New Delhi for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony. The structural bi-polarity in Pakistan has been the stumbling block in normalisation of relations between the two countries. Like Sharif previous PPP government in Islamabad too had wanted peace with India only to be derailed by the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai. On the other hand borders have remained peaceful during the post 26/11 period. India, on the other hand, had made it clear right from the beginning that Kashmir would be one of the issues, and not the issue. It is, therefore, not without reason that Pakistan should have described the exercise as a “waste of time.” This is the time New Delhi should re-orient it Pakistan policy to break the ice and go beyond Kashmir to bring in stability in the continent.

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