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At last, Pakistan begins to own IOK!

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif dedicated 14 August to freedom of Kashmir

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had been ignoring saner voices within Pakistan to be cautious while dealing with Hindutva inspired and RSS powered Modi, however, he continued to ignore Modi’s brinkmanship and kept giving him benefit of doubt. Modi’s August 15 speech has compelled Nawaz to rethink his approach towards India, as Modi has shamelessly bared its teeth. While briefing the ambassadors of P-5 and the EU, on August 27, Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz expressed his regrets over the Indian decision saying Pakistan has always demonstrated willingness to hold talks with the Indian side but it has received the same response from the other side. The Adviser said the international community, has an important role to uphold the principles of human rights and international humanitarian law. The P-5 and EU Ambassadors appreciated Pakistan’s readiness for dialogue. Hopefully, concerted multidimensional efforts by the government of Pakistan would soon begin to yield results.

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Back to Talkshawk

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For the past one-and-a-half years, India had pursued a deliberate policy aimed at sabotaging bilateral dialogue with Pakistan. India has a tendency to treat even cultural and sports exchanges as a concession to Pakistan for which Pakistan must cede some strategic space; the fate of ICCI underwritten cricket series and the way India manoeuvred to scuttle it is reflective of prevailing Indian mind-set.Apparently the scheme of Pakistan-India dialogue has undergone a structural change. National Security Advisers (NSA) shall handle terrorism related matters and erstwhile ‘Composite Dialogue’ under the new brand name of ‘Comprehensive Dialogue’ shall continue to be the responsibility of two foreign offices. Now Pakistan has a fulltime NSA, may be in due course he would have his independent secretariat as well. Earlier, Pakistan had handed over three dossiers to the United Nations Secretary General in October outlining Indian pursuits of financing and facilitating terrorist activities in Pakistan. Hopefully Pakistan’s NSA would make that as a reference document while dealing with his Indian counterpart, both NSA are ex-generals one of army and the other of police. Their background knowledge and expertise pertaining to handling of counter terrorism activities should come handy while tackling the sticky assignment.

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India’s zero sum approach towards Pakistan

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Pakistan has initiated a long overdue process to increase international awareness regarding prevailing Indian negativities toward Pakistan. Indian involvement in terrorism related incidents in Pakistan is a serious matter for Pakistan and credible evidence on this has been shared with the international community. With this, Pakistan-India relationship has entered an interesting phase. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that his four-point peace roadmap is the only way forward: “There is no other solution, we have given a proposal for peace in the region”, and the proxy war against Pakistan from across the [Indian] border should come to an end. Tensions between the two countries are affecting regional stability, therefore, Pakistan has presented the way forward. India needs to shed its zero sum approach towards Pakistan and adopt a balanced approach to end perpetual hostility spread over nearly 70 years that has not produced any positive results.Bilateral level has all along been a weak forum for resolving disputes between India and Pakistan— courtesy perpetually escalating Indian hubris. Most of the contentious issues of yester years that now stand resolved between the two counties were made possible through third party facilitation. Process initiated by Pakistan to increase international awareness about Indian conduct with respect to Pakistan should be pursued with due perseverance. India is essentially biting more than what it could chew; this strategy is not sustainable. Sooner or later, India will feel the need and urgency of reverting back and strengthening comprehensive bilateral processes. India will not gain anything by pointing fingers at Pakistan. Animosity has only impeded the development process.

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Indian fits of brinkmanship

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American National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s visit had been planned in advance had nothing to do with the current tension between India and Pakistan. Also, it would be unrealistic to harbour expectations regarding the US role in Indo-Pak relations. Notwithstanding, trails of Indian arrogance lead towards undue coddling by America. India has to realize that the only way to bring an end to human misery on both sides of the border is to hold talks—especially on Kashmir. Idian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s frustration is understandable, due to childish approach, he has gathered phenomenal political baggage on personal, domestic and foreign policy counts. Modi’s obsession to cage Pakistan is firing back. During his recent visit to UAE, Modi tried to woo the Arab countries towards India, with a condition that they ditch Pakistan enbloc and comprehensively. He offered them defence cooperation in lieu of Pakistan’s constraints regarding sending its forces to quell the Yemen insurgency if Arab countries withdrew hand of assistance to Pakistan and show indifferent attitude to Pakistan on defence and economic matters. Again, Modi underestimated the depth of the relationship between Pakistan and Arab countries. King of Saudi Arabia made it clear in categorical terms that Saudi Arabia would never allow any Modi-led conspiracy against Pakistan to succeed. Tainted with his terrorist background, Modi lacks civility, patience and diplomatic skills. BJP needs to reconsider its prime ministerial choice lest all gained during Vajpayee era in India Pakistan bilateral context is reduced to ashes.

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SCO evolving and growing

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Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an emerging and evolving organization trying to formulate an Asia vision and Asia voice. This objective is indeed a tall order given the fierce opposition by the US led Western bloc. While the US wishes a unipolar World under its tutelage, it promotes multi-polar Asia with 4-5 power centres working at cross purposes. Currently it is busy in putting together a 9-10 Asian countries’ alliance against China under the banner of “Pivot Asia”. With its expansion programme, SCO is set to become an Asia focused organization with global outreach. SCO has sufficient space to consolidate its performance in the areas of non-traditional security concerns facing the Asia continent. Climate change adaptation, disaster management, drug trafficking and disease mitigation are some of the areas where SCO has unchallenged turf. In the long term it could go on to set up an Asian parliament and a conflict resolution mechanism. Pakistan has indeed eased the moment by becoming a member of SCO. SCO is slowly and steadily building a harmonious region in keeping with the Shanghai Spirit that promotes mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and pursuit of common development. After the current tranche of expansion, this organisation is poised to play a constructive role in Asia with a global outreach.

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Madness, the Modi style

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Overwhelming poor ratings for Prime Minister Modi government’s first year’s performance have upset the Jan Sangh tea boy. He thinks Pakistan bashing would solve all problems that he has driven India into.  Modi is fast losing balance , it is unfortunate that the BJP has thrown-up a Prime Minister who has been a practitioner of terrorism as Chief Minister of …

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Need to build on Pak-Afghan goodwill

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Afghan government and people see Pakistan’s role as critical and most of them strongly believe that their neighbour could do more to mitigate their hardship. With the foreign troops almost gone, the country is extremely anxious about its future. There is a strong perception in Afghanistan that Pakistan is not fully exerting itself to help Afghans overcome violence in Afghanistan. If the level of violence worsens during the ongoing fighting season, the bilateral relations could revert back to Karzai era. Handling of Afghan refugees by Pakistan and differences on Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) are other contentious points. A number of Afghan analysts are of the view that cooperation between the two countries could make them an effective anchorage for a regional hub with significant politico-economic clout.At bilateral level, there is need for a joint institutional arrangement for efficient monitoring and management of on-going issues. For this a joint commission may be set, staffed by both sides. Such commission should have a secretariat to keep the developing situation under constant review. Such an approach would create a sense of confidence in the two countries about each other’s intentions, and prevent a slide down in bilateral relations.

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Pakistan and India prepare to Talk

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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. …

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A close call to Modi

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Pakistan Focus Analysis            Aam Admi Party (Common Man’s Party) has won a landslide victory in Delhi State elections; out of a house of 70, it has bagged 67 seats, leaving three for the BJP, remaining parties are left high and dry. In run up to these elections, this Party had released its humble manifesto on January 31, …

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