21 January, 2021

Cut Ice With The ‘K’

Kashmir is a bellwether for Pakistan vis-a-vis India. It must be tackled for a way forward.

PTI supporters cheer the man who says he is ready to do business with India
Photograph by AP
Cut Ice With The ‘K’

The first interaction between the two leaders was marked by obligatory civility. However, Nar­­e­ndra Modi’s congratulat­ory phone call to Imran Khan on July 30 seems to have led to a series of interpretations among policy planners in India and Pakistan.

Pragmatists see it as nothing more than a customary courtesy extended by the Indian prime minister to his soon-to-be Pakistani counterpart. Opt­imists, on the other hand, are enc­ouraged by the gesture, and read in it the first stirrings of a thaw in frozen bilateral relations.

Various events—untrammelled firing across the Line of Control, terror att­acks by Pakistan-based militants, the Kulbhushan Jadhav case and a Kashmir in turmoil—have cloaked India-Pak­istan ties in a prolonged phase of tension. The result is a lack of meaningful contact or attempts at engaging in a dia­logue to put relations back on track.

So, with a change in civilian leadership in Pakistan, one that enjoys the crucial backing of the all-powerful military...



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