India, Pak should talk

A year on from the Pathankot attack, India and Pakistan are nowhere near resuming their engagement.  Nor does there seem a possibility that there will be a dialogue in near future. Pakistan recently took the Jamat-u-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed into custody, an extraordinary step which is believed to have been taken in anticipation of the pressure from the new US administration headed by the president Donald Trump. In response to this crackdown,  Dawa has rebranded itself as the Tehreek  Azadi Jammu and Kashmir. New Delhi has always sought a credible action against Saeed whom it sees responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attack which killed 169 people.  Now in a statement India  has termed the latest action against Dawa chief as a test  of Pakistan's seriousness towards eradicating India-centric militant outfits from its soil. Islamabad has shot back that India was involved in fomenting terrorism in Pakistan.  The bottomline is that the two countries  are in no way nearer to dialogue. And it is a fraught state of affairs considering the unpredictable turn the world has taken  following the election of Trump as US president.  There is no telling as yet as to how Trump will deal with the region, particularly with India and Pakistan.  However the broad indications are that US, India ties will improve under Trump's presidency and Pakistan might face more pressure to act against the extremist groups operating from its soil. US might also egg on the two countries to talk but also put onus on Pakistan to make a conducive atmosphere for it.  The situation  is likely to  generate its own complications which hardly bode well for the dialogue. However a sustainable dialogue between the two countries is only possible if the will for it is displayed by the two countries and it is made immune to the forces who attempt to derail it.  But as things stand no such will exists. In the interest of the sustainable peace and prosperity in the region, it is time the two nations do summon this will. 

Related Stories

No stories found.