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Pakistan and India prepare to Talk

India and Pakistan are preparing for another round of talks. Indian Foreign Secretary is visiting Islamabad soon to resume the talks from the point his predecessor had disrupted arbitrarily.  Since then, Pakistan took a principled stand that as India has disrupted the process, the onus to restart is also on India. American pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi has worked. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif  is, by default, obsessed with the desire of  having good relations with India.

Talks are always good, even if they do not lead towards enduring peace, tensions are reduced. However, Pakistan-India dialogue has a poor track record, most of the times India walks away from the process whenever  any substantial ground is about to be covered. Though many useful agreements have been reached between the two countries bilaterally, frequency of failure has alarmingly increased since 9/11. To succeed, the upcoming round should be focused and structured engagement, covering all core issues, including Kashmir.  No dramatic breakthrough is envisaged, yet cautious optimism is in order.

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Rawat Bipin: A General or a BJP Cow Vigilante

Rawat Bipin: A General or a BJP Cow Vigilante

It appears as if Indian Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat had extensively bunked his military strategy related classes during staff college days. On January 12, he said at a presser: “We will call the [nuclear] bluff of Pakistan. If we will have to really confront, and a task is given to us, we are not going to say we cannot cross the border because they have nuclear weapons”. Pakistan is fully capable of defending itself. Region couldn’t make progress without enduring pace and stability. Peaceful environment in the region is imperative for economic progress and wellbeing of the people of South Asia. Who would know better than Bipin that Pakistan’s nuclear resolve has been tested many times over since Brass-tacks days, and it always stood the test very well. Indian leadership is well aware about inherent weaknesses attached to its nuclear button. Rawat’s bellicosity is misplaced. And as regards China, Doklam fiasco shall continue to haunt a couple of Bipin’s successors. This tactical mistake has brought enduring strategic pain to India, smaller countries of South Asia as well the US stand exposed to the reality that India military is no match to Chinese strategic acumen. And finally, General Rawat Bipin! have a heart, there should be a difference in the quality of posturing by Indian Army Chief and a BJP Cow-vigilante.

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