A chink in the Indo-Pak ice

Source: This post is created based on the article “A chink in the Indo-Pak ice”, published in Business Standard on 27th January 2023.

Syllabus Topic – GS Paper 2 – International relations – India and its neighborhood

News: Lately, India- Pakistan relations have taken a positive turn after years of stagnancy.

What are the developments?

  1. Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, in a recent speech accepted that Pakistan has learned lessons after being defeated in three wars and indicated his desire for peace with India.
  2. Shortly, after that India invited Pakistan’s Foreign Minister to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization foreign ministers’ meeting that India would be hosting in Goa.

Why is there a positive turn in attitude of Pakistani leadership?

  • Success of talks between two armies that led to agreement to honor the terms of a 2003 ceasefire agreement in February 2021. The agreement has more or less been held.
  • State of Pakistan’s economy is critical. It is facing foreign exchange crisis.

What are the challenges that still remains?

  • First, every time after giving a speech favourable towards India, Pakistani leaders go back to their old tracks. This time as well, Pak PM backtracked and later said talks could take place only when India reversed its decision to end special status on Kashmir. There is very feeble possibility of restoration of article 370.
  • Second, In the past as well, efforts of talks have been made by India. In 2001, PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and military dictator Pervez Musharraf over Kashmir met in Agra. In 2015, PM Modi made a surprise visit to Pakistan to greet Nawaz Sharif on his birthday. However, after both the instances, frequency of cross-border terrorism increased.
  • Third, Pakistani govt. or its military have not yet responded to the invitation.
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