Indo-Pak Diplomatic Fracture: The Balloon Bursts Before it Takes Off

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By Fida Hussain Sodagar

Diplomacy has always remained as a powerful tool for nations to negotiate on the contentious issues. It is the essence of peace and friendship at the global level. But, diplomacy has always failed to prove its magic when it comes to Indo-Pak relations. The two nations have fought wars, tried to negotiate but nothing could break the ice. The balloon bursts every time before it takes off.
After taking over as Prime Minister of Pakistan, cricketer turned politician, Imran Khan expressed his willingness to initiate a meaningful dialogue with India. The new Prime Minister in his letter to his Indian Counterpart has sought resumption of the suspended dialogue process. The Pakistan Prime Minister also sought a meeting between Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Sushma Swaraj, the foreign Ministers of the two countries on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 2018 in New York.
India responded to the call for dialogue in the affirmative. The two foreign ministers were set to ignite a new hope of peaceful era in the history of the arch rival nations. All eyes were waiting for a moment of reconciliation, a moment of friendship. But, days before the proposed meet, the plan was aborted, as usual as expected. The Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar briefed the media about the decision of Indian Government to scrap the decision of talks with Pakistan. Every time the bone of contention remains to be the same: Kashmir. The same old rhetoric of Goli and Boli (Bullet and Dialogue) philosophy remains to be a strong excuse to thwart the dialogue. If there will be a committed dialogue process, only then Goli can stop and Boli can win. The killing of three SPO’s and the launching of postal stamps in the name of Burhan Wani were termed as the disturbing developments by India which proved to be a final nail in the coffin.
While the people of both the countries have pushed for cricket diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, and many more, all the efforts turned out to be futile. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi tried to add a new dimension in the concept of diplomacy and introduced the use of bear hugs with the heads of various nations for cementing the relationships. This diplomacy can be termed as Modi’s “Huglomacy”, but it was a failed stunt in the Indo-Pak relationship.
TCA Raghavan, the former High Commissioner to Pakistan, has recently put the Indo-Pak fiasco in a the right perspective. A celebrated diplomat projected that there are no easy and quick solutions to the issues between India and Pakistan. The issues between the two countries are characterized by lack of trust and they can be addressed through diplomatic and political channels. Before coming on the real agenda, first the two countries need to address the issues of mistrust. There should a strong commitment on the part of both countries to initiate a meaningful dialogue keep aside ego and anger. The two countries need to adopt no nonsense diplomatic attitude and shun the non serious approach. A sense of healthy diplomacy needs to be encrypted in the international relations system of the two countries to carve out the consequential conclusions. That is the only way out to retain the essence of fruitful diplomatic efforts to bring a new dawn of peace between the two nations.

The author holds a P.G in Mass Communication and Journalism and writes on various issues. He can be reached at: