21 January, 2021

Resumption Of India-Pak Dialogue Can Be Ruled Out Till 2019 Elections

Resumption of the on-off dialogue process started in 1997 can be ruled out. This has become hostage to India insisting on stopping terrorism and Pakistan on starting talks on Kashmir first. The first window on dialogue will open after the 2019 elections.

Resumption Of India-Pak Dialogue Can Be Ruled Out Till 2019 Elections

Here are a few facts before one considers whether the dialogue process with Pakistan, stuck in the groove of hostility since an Indian soldier was beheaded on the Line of Control in 2013, can be resumed this year with just eight months left for elections in India. If no dialogue is held, as is likely, the Narendra Modi government will be the first to secure this distinction.

Compared with the previous Nawaz Sharif government, the new army-engineered one under Imran Khan is assumed to be on the same page as the men in khaki. Civil-military relations hold the key to pol­itical stability. It also means army chief General Qamar Bajwa will enjoy greater autonomy in external relations, especially with Afghanistan and India. The deep state will control the full spectrum of external policy, proving the dictum that whereas other states have an army, in Pakistan, the army has a state.

Imran’s vision of transforming a security state into an Islamic welfare state may remain an unfulfilled dream given the dire state of its economy, which will require a bail-out of at...



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