Opinion DC Comment 26 Nov 2018 Sushma’s move ...

Sushma’s move on Pak sensible

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Nov 26, 2018, 12:10 am IST
Updated Nov 26, 2018, 12:10 am IST
The terror attack on the Pathankot airbase just days later, on January 1, interrupted the idea of progress in bilateral ties.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (Photo: PTI)
 External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (Photo: PTI)

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s decision to skip the trip to Pakistan on Wednesday for the ground-breaking ceremony for a corridor on the Pakistani side to facilitate the visit of Indian pilgrims to the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara, where Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak breathed his last, is rooted in realism. Pakistan PM Imran Khan will do the honours at Kartarpur, barely 8 km from the border. The external affairs minister was invited by Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, but India will instead send two Sikh ministers. (The Punjab chief minister, Capt. Amarinder Singh, has also declined Pakistan’s invitation.) A visit by Ms Swaraj might have given the impression of India agreeing to a resumption of the interrupted Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue. On the eve of crucial state elections, in which the BJP’s stakes are high, to be followed by the Lok Sabha polls, the Narendra Modi government is signalling caution in handling Pakistan, that hasn’t moved on lowering tensions relating to terrorism and over regular ceasefire violations along the Line of Control.

The last foreign minister-level talks were in December 2015. The terror attack on the Pathankot airbase just days later, on January 1, interrupted the idea of progress in bilateral ties.

 

India had agreed to Pakistan’s proposal for a meeting of the two foreign ministers in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, but backed out 24 hours later, citing the killing of policemen in Kashmir and of soldiers on the LoC. Prime Minister Modi’s references on Friday to the fall of the Berlin Wall apparently referred only to future possibilities, and signalled that doors were not being closed.

...




ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT