Modi’s obduracy

To lower the tension between the two nuclear neighbouring states Pakistan and India, Prime Minister Imran Khan has sent third letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi renewing therein the offer of dialogue. It reflects the firm resolves of Pakistan’s leadership towards achieving peace and stability in the region and focus on poverty alleviation among. In his earlier letter, the Prime Minister had expressed willingness to hold dialogue on the issue of terrorism on Indian demand.

The informal meeting of Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Quershi with the former Indian External Affairs Minister Shushma Swaraj in Kyrgyzstan last month had produced an air of optimism about the likelihood of meeting between the two Prime Ministers at the sideline of Shangai Cooperation Organisation Summit which is scheduled to be held in Kyrgyzstan from June 13 to 14. Speculating on the apparent gesture of goodwill that transpired from meeting of two foreign ministers, Indian media hinted at the possibility that the Prime Ministers of two countries may also meet. But the India’s External Affairs Ministry categorically announced that no bilateral meeting has been planned on the sideline of SCO moot. It may be recalled that in the past former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had met Narendri Modi a number of times at this forum but with no tangible progress towards the resolution of bilateral disputes. In the Ufa declaration of July 2015, the very mention of Kashmir dispute had been omitted as per India’s desire.

After the ouster of old guard like Lal Krishna Advani and Jaswant Singh, Narendra Modi may stick to his rigid stance against its western neighbour Pakistan in his second tenure of government as well. In the past, it was the BJP Government of moderate Atal Bihari Vajpai that the process of Composite dialogue started in 1999. It had been suspended by India when the 26/11 Mumbai attacks occurred and could not be resumed over the past 11 years despite. When these attacks happened in 2008, former President Asif Zardari did not even wait for the return of foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Quershi from New Delhi and accepted it an act of non-state actors and in a way supported the Indian accusation against Pakistan. The previous Nawaz Sharif government preferred a second fiddle role in foreign policy by remaining silent on the India’s sponsored terrorism in Pakistan and particularly on the arrest of Kalboshan Jadhev, RAW high profile agent in Baluchistan.  He kept mum over India’s hue and cry when Jadheve was awarded death sentence on the basis of his confessional statement and other strong evidence against him. In his government, false flag operations like attack on Patankot airbase were accepted genuine by lodging FIR in a Police Station in Gujranwala against the unknown terrorists.

The present ruling leadership of Pakistan is pursuing a proactive foreign policy to achieve peace and stability in the region. It is keen to normalize relations with India. Opening of Kartarpur Corridor is a big step forward. Pakistan has made repeated offers for resumption of Composite Dialogue process and foreign minster Shah Mahmood Qureshi has once again put the dialogue offer on the table one day before the results of Indian elections. A photograph of the foreign minister with Indian counterpart Ms Shushma Swaraj that appeared in media before the SCO meeting in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan rekindled the hope about thaw in Pak-India relations. In his congratulation tweet, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed the desire of working with his Indian counterpart for peace progress and prosperity in South Asia. In response Prime Minister Narendra Modi apparently reciprocated the same desire and vowed to give primacy to peace and development in the region. However, after taking oath of office Narendra Modi has not change his style of leadership by showing moderation for normalizing relations with Pakistan. Unfortunately in his previous tenure of government he used to interact with a Pakistani leadership which accepted the Indian accusative narrative but on the contrary the present Pakistani leader Imran Khan is an intelligent and articulate straight talking statesman which seems to be the reason that Indian leadership is shying away from peace gestures.