PM MODI’S PAKISTAN POLICY LACKS CONSISTENCY

If there is extreme cold in Delhi, the temperature in Bangkok was suitable for our national security advisor and foreign secretary to break the ice with their Pakistani counterparts. Within 48 hours of NSA level talk between the two countries, our foreign minister visited Pakistan and held talks with her counterpart and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Prime Minister Modi is also scheduled to visit Pakistan next year with the focus on resumption of the composite dialogue process.

In 2015 only, Pakistan has violated cease fire agreements more than 400 times. If this is the genuineness of Pakistan, I doubt that any composite dialogue will yield positive result. Pakistan has its own domestic limitations because of which it cannot go beyond a point thus, it will expect India to offer some concessions to keep the talking treadmill going on.

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It is, therefore, necessary that, before we talk, we need to have a clear idea as to what the minimum expectations we have and to what extent we can go with the Pakistani agenda on Kashmir. The negotiators of India have to be clear on this in any talk with Pakistan. Talks should not be held only for the sake of diverting attention from the domestic challenges. Secondly, the people and Parliament of both the countries should be taken into confidence for the talks to prove sustainable.

It is the right of people to know what is in the minds of our Government when it offers to sit down with Pakistan for a composite dialogue, including Jammu & Kashmir and Narendra Modi and his Government are expected to keep these concerns in mind while talking to Pakistan on formal platforms.

*The Author is an Advocate and a National Spokesperson of the Indian National Congress.