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Body language of Pakistan-India peace talks!

For some years a politically prompted theme had been circulating amongst Indian academicians and strategists that India should abandon bilateral talks with Pakistan for a decade or so, hoping that by then Pakistan would be so weakened that it would accept to talk to India on Indian terms. This fantasy echoing Nehru era wishful fallacy ‘that newly created Pakistan would not survive long and Jinnah would approach Nehru with his knees bent for its re-merger with greater India’ appears to have gone to the head of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His national Security Adviser Ajit Dival is still suffering the hangover of his police assignment. Emerging Modi-Doval doctrine is to impose a new bilateral regime whereby Pakistan should forget about Kashmir, water and talk about terrorism, and that too as interpreted by India. Indian external affairs minister Mrs Sushma Swaraj has a vast experience of sabotaging Pakistan-India peace process. She was instrumental in scuttling Agra Summit 14–16 July 2001, while she was Union Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting. Pakistan has rightly taken a position to follow multi-lateral route for presenting its dossiers on Indian involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan should India shut the bilateral window on flimsy pretexts. Dialogue between India and Pakistan has never been an easy ride. Most of the agreements of strategic dimension could only come about with formal or behind the scene intervention, facilitation and or prompting of a third party. Pakistan need to revisit its policy of dying for dialogue with India, calculations indicate that there is not much that Pakistan is likely to gain from this futile approach.

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India’s erratic stance

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, analyst were watching as to who would call the shots in Indian foreign policy—parliament or the BJP hardliners. Now with BJP’s adoption of resolution on foreign policy the situation has become clear; it is the hardliners in the BJP who would remote control India’s policy, and more so it’s China and Pakistan policy. Now the party wants Modi to walk its elections days’ talk.Pakistan and India have remained engaged in the past under the framework of Composite Dialogue—a structured dialogue covering all issues. Pakistan is committed to a result-oriented, sustainable and meaningful dialogue with India to address all issues of mutual concern.India’s new trend of focusing on the issue of terrorism only is a dangerous strategy; it implies that India no longer wants to have a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan.

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Yemen Crisis: Time to cease the moment!

Iran-Turkey summit has reinforced the likelihood of a cease fire in Yemen. Iranian foreign minister shall soon convey this to Pakistan; at the same time he will urge Pakistan to not to join the Saudi led coalition. By this evening all information gaps would be filled. While an overwhelming consensus is emerging for a ceasefire and negotiated settlement, no frame work for such talks is on the horizon. Space for diplomacy is clearly increasing; by now, all parties to the conflict have nodded affirmative for negotiations; hence raison d’etre for sending the military contingent to Saudi Arabia is fast diluting. Handling of this crisis by the government of Pakistan was slow, it could not match the speed of events. Political parties also kept shifting their stance. There was a huge gap between the Pakistani and Saudi positions regarding the ongoing role of Pakistan in Yemen crisis—positions varied between meek denial by Pakistan and total embrace by Saudi Arabia. People of Pakistan were left in a state of confusion. By taking a strong partisan position, Pakistan, like Turkey, lowered its acceptability for playing a lead mediatory role. While Pakistan government is overwhelmingly on Saudi side, leadership should not lose the sight of the stark reality that key to the resolutions of Yemen crisis is with Iran. Inclination toward dialogue by all sides presents a unique opportunity; Pakistan should make a course correction and take a lead in converting this widow of hope into a workable action plan for lasting peace in Yemen.

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In Solidarity With Kashmir: Analysis by Pakistan Focus

At this moment of its heightened national hubris, India unrealistically expects Pakistan to relent on its principled stance on Kashmir. It is time to celebrate the solidarity day with added zeal to refresh the international conscious about lingering Kashmir dispute.

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