A thaw in the Indo-Pak relations in near future…Is it possible?

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Indo-Pak relations

The India-Pakistan relationship presently is passing through a deadlock where both countries have adopted a recalcitrant attitude. In his recent two days visit to Jammu Kashmir, Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah ruled out the possibility of any talks with Pakistan shortly. The Present stand of India is that “terror and talks” cannot go together.

For any meaningful dialogue, Pakistan has to dismantle all infrastructure of terrorism. Secondly, the political instability and absence of clarity regarding the actual power center in Pakistan are yet other impediments to talks. For example, if talks are to be resumed, it should be done with whom- Army, ISI, or Government. Thirdly, from an Indian Point of View, there is a more significant trust deficit regarding Pakistan.

On the other hand, Pakistan has taken the stand until India restores articles 370 and 35 A in Jammu and Kashmir there could be no talks. Restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir is next to impossible demand for the present NDA government. Even if a new government comes to power in New Delhi in 2024, it would not be easy for that to grant special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The attitude of Pakistan was so hostile that it refused to accept any help from India in devastating floods in Baluchistan and Sind.

The natural bone of contention in Indo-Pak relations is Jammu and Kashmir. India considers the entire area of Jammu and Kashmir, including POK and Aksai Chin, an integral part of India. The Indian Parliament has also passed a unanimous resolution regarding this. Therefore, it is incumbent on any government in New Delhi to get POK vacated by Pakistan. Pakistan wants the solution through a referendum which India considers irrelevant and redundant.

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The same attitude was reflected in the SCO meeting in Tashkent, where Indian and Pakistani ministers did not even look eye to eye despite standing in the same line in a photoshoot. Indian Prime Minister Modi demanded free passage for goods by member countries at that meeting. He was indirectly referring to the denial of Pakistan when India wanted to send wheat to Afghanistan on humanitarian grounds.

Hence, it is evident that talks at a high level or even formal negotiations at any level do not look plausible. But informal discussions cannot be ruled out. At least the DGMO of both countries meet regularly, and an army of both countries exchange sweets on the auspicious occasion. The enigmatic nature of world diplomacy nobody knows.

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