19 June, 2021

In A Frigid State

Pakistan waited. And Manmohan kept it waiting.

Jitender Gupta
In A Frigid State

Like spectators at a tennis match, many Pakistanis have been watching the two realms beyond either side their border with a periodic rhythm. With both India and Afghanistan in the throes of general elections, they must be wondering if the frontiers would change their faces dramatically. And with the likely victories of Narendra Modi and Abdullah Abdullah staring in their faces, Pakistani policymakers feel they have fewer friendly options in the immediate neighbourhood.

Though the UPA-II government in New Delhi staggered on for five years without displaying the political will for a decisive breakthrough in talks with Pakis­tan, it’s ackn­ow­ledged here that Prime Minister Manmo­han Singh reined in ‘anti-­Pakistan’ for­ces in the Ind­ian establishment on seve­ral occasions.

Pakistanis will remember Manmohan as one of the weakest Indian PMs, whose heart was in the right place, but whose reluctance to defy the apron strings of the party supremo to whom he owed fealty denied him a chance of meaningful progress in...

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