India- Palk dialogue- How soon is the question?
Syed Ali Mujtaba
Prime Minister Narandra Modi reading newspaper while Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif going to the podium to deliver his Saarc speech in Kathmandu tells million words. It was in Dulikhel retreat, the reluctant Indian Prime Minster offered the handshake to his Pakistani counterpart that saved the summit; courtesy Nepalese hosts who did not wanted to sour the broth.
PM Modi was giving the impression that there may be no Indo-Pak dialogue as long as he is in power. His opinion remains entangled in the cobweb of terrorism and Kashmir issue.
He is nursing the dream that Pakistan will forfeit its claim on Kashmir and relinquish terrorism once and forever. Every Indian says Insha-Allah to it and hopes and prays that such dream may come true.
However there are many disagreeing souls in the country who feel that stonewalling Pakistan is the biggest blunder that Mr Modi is making. In the process he may be inviting another HUDHUD whose consequences may be hard to control.
It is therefore in the interest of the country to engage Pakistan as it is the only way forward. And for this Indo- Pak dialogue has to happen sooner than later.
Everything is not lost as far India –Pak dialogue is concerned. Overtly, there may be posturing by the Prime Minister, but covertly Modi has given his consent to keep alive the track -2 diplomacy.
An India-Pak delegation was recently allowed to have an informal meeting in New Delhi. Indian side was represented by Mani Shanker Iyer and Salman khurshid and Pakistani side was led by its former foreign minister. There were 15 members on each side. This kindles hope of the revival of Indo- Pak talks.
The other indication is Modi has not ordered the discontinuation of the Aghaz- e – Dosti initiative by Delhi based NGO Bhartiyan Mission. They young Turks continue to silently do their job, connecting youngsters from India and Pakistan.
Recently, they had video conferencing and the students from both sides interacted freely with each other.
The third indication is; Modi has not ordered to take off from the air, the TV Channel Zindagi that brings Pakistani TV dramas to the Indian homes. The channel is a big draw in India and the Indian Ad content during the serial suggests its popularity among Indian viewers.
These factors suggest that even before the so called international community nudges Modi, to shun his posturing, it is likely the dialogue may resume soon. How soon is the question, the answer is wait and watch.