India-Pakistan dialogue: Terror and talks don’t go hand in hand, say experts

By: | Updated: September 21, 2018 9:18 PM

When Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting that there should be talks between the two sides when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj goes for the UNGA next week, there were varied views from experts on this.

india pakistan ties, narendra modi, sushma swaraj, UNGA, paksitan army, qamar javed bajwa, Imran KhanThe decision to have this meeting on the sideline of UNGA was taken at the CCS meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

When Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting that there should be talks between the two sides when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj goes for the UNGA next week, there were varied views from experts on this.

Some argued that a country which has been putting out Lashkar, Jaish, and Hizbul in the mainstream, how can Pakistan even think about talks. The talks don’t need to be at the level of external affairs minister, rather the talks should be with the Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, they said.

Sharing his thought with FE Online on conditions of anonymity, an expert on the neighbouring country said that, “A country which continues with its terrorist activities against India, there is no need for talks. The schedule of the minister has still not been firmed up for the meetings at the informal SAARC meet on the sidelines of UNGA.”

Agreeing with such a view Vikram Sood, former chief of India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, opined,” There is no need for New Delhi to make the first move and there is no need to respond immediately. We want proof of their intentions.”

“Look at the semantics. The images that are coming out of the slashed throats of our BSF jawans and they want to talk to us?” asks Sood.

On the other hand Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar who was supporting the government’s decision for talks after the announcement was made on Thursday, said that, “After the brutalities Pakistan has inflicted on our police, the talks of being called off is the right decision of the government.”

“The reason I supported the talks was that it was not structured but I felt it would give a chance to our external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to tell her counterpart terror and talks don’t go hand in hand.” The talks were expected to take place on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York later this month.

An official statement released by the MEA said, “It is obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, the evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed and the true face of the new Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has been revealed to the world in his first few months in office. Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless,” the statement said.

The decision to have this meeting on the sideline of UNGA was taken at the CCS meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

The last time both countries had a substantive dialogue was way back in December 2015, when Sushma Swaraj had gone to Pakistan to attend the Heart of Asia conference.

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