Modi revives hope for Indo-Pak talks: Will Imran overcome Army hurdle?

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It is reported that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written to his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan that India desires constructive engagement with Islamabad. He said India was committed to build good neighbourly relations. It must be remembered that when Imran Khan emerged with a single largest party, the Prime Minister Modi congratulated him. Though political predictions were in his favour still it was unlikely that the cricket captain will repeat his feat in political arena also.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan performed a gigantic task by surpassing the established political parties of Pakisan particularly Pakistan Muslim League (N) of Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan People’s Party of Bhutto and proved his mettle by winning the hearts of the people who were dejected by selfish politics that were ruling the roast in the country. Facing many odds and defying the corrupt means of the old parties, people surged forward to elect a new leader. People also rejected the hardcore Islamic parties which raised only slogans in the name of religion. Mutehada Qaumi Mahaz which has been calling shots in Karachi for decades together humbly gave way for the Tahreek Insaf Party of Imran Khan. Still he could not get absolute majority and had to form coalition government. One would hope his would be a different government from previous ones which had never been interested in maintaining friendly relations with India.

Kashmir has been a bone of contention since the dawn of Independence coupled with partition. When the British rulers gave an option to the princely states either to remain independent or join the independent India or Pakistan, Hari Singh the ruler of the Jammu and Kashmir, with the persuasion of Shaik Abdullah, the popular leader of the Valley, decided to go with India. It was a matter of great anguish for Pakistan as the border state was predominantly Muslim region. Pakistan in disguise attacked the state and in the process of war, a portion of the state was grabbed by Pakistan. When the matter had been pending in the UNO, Pakistan tried its best to grab the state by force more than once but failed miserably. Then proxy war was the alternative strategy that was adopted by Pakistan. The fundamental terrorists that were promoted by the President Ziaul Haq came handy for the Inter Service Intelligence–government intelligence wing of Pakistan, to create havoc in Jammu & Kashmir and other parts of India. India wants a halt to this militant or terrorist infiltration before any bilateral peace talk gets underway. Only this strategy gave an upper hand to the Army in Pakistan. No elected civil government in Pakistan can act independently on a policy related to India. Now bilateral talks are the only way out for both the countries to solve their pending issues including Kashmir. India expressed its wish for a constructive engagement but did not make an offer of dialogue. The Prime Minister wants to see whether the policy of proxy war is changed or not. Without any basic change in the policy of Pakistan, no dialogue, at whatever level it may be, can be fruitful. India has to wait and watch.

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