India and Pakistan – All play and no work!

For an ordinary Indian citizen like me, India’s foreign relationship would be restricted mainly to Pakistan. From the omnipresence of cricket to the frequent terror strikes, our neighbour conjures within us a trenchant passion. However the effusive sentiment is a plunge rather than a surge; call it media melodrama or neighbourhood transience. It wouldn’t be surprising to realise that the people on other the side harbour a similar feeling towards us. The past can cannot be erased but what’s lamenting is that the future remains bleak with no sides willing to give an inch. Both being adamant to win brownie points.

The recent events (between PNS Babar and INS Godavari) in the high waters certainly added salt to injury. With no repercussions, the dialogue between the two foreign delegates clamored on the clichéd topic of terrorism. This has been the scenario since eons; India thumping the blame while Pakistan in an impudent denial. Other aspects of our relationship have been subjected to a step motherly treatment. Trade relations have taken a back seat as Pakistan continues to procure Indian goods through the Saudia Arabia route. Pakistan even refused aid from India during the devastating flood. The Rangers and the BSF are in a constant tussle for bragging rights. With issues like these taking a backseat, every time the two nations meet it would only be a facade with inconsequential parleys. Time and time again we attach great importance to these talks and in return we are entertained to a dull nirvana amounting to nothing.

It’s time we meet each other half way to sort out critical issues. Targets should be meted out along with deadlines, with each side adhering to its responsibilities. Every time our foreign secretaries meet, the mandate should cover a wider horizon with conclusive talks. Unless such proactive measures are taken, the subcontinent will remain a boiling pot with our Big Brother relishing on free entertainment. After all if no work certainly implies all play!

Soumyajit Datta