In what has slowly been seen as a pattern, Pakistan’s envoy to India said that the bilateral dialogue process has been “suspended”. This comes in 3 months after the Pathankot attacks, post which the Foreign Secretary level talks had been called off.
Stating “cooperation” as being the key to the investigations into the attack and not “reciprocity”, this is a few days following reports in the Pakistani media. These reports said no evidence was shared with the Pakistani investigating officers who had come to inspect the crime scene and the evidence was collected by Indian authorities. During the media interaction at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia in New Delhi, he stressed that Pakistan would like to have “comprehensive and meaningful” dialogue with India and is ready to wait for such a time till India is ready.
With the NIA’s visit to Pakistan regarding to the Pathankot investigation imminent, this is seen as “backtracking” on the part of Islamabad. The Ministry of External Affairs (India) was quick to issue a statement that both the countries are in touch with each other and modalities are being worked out. With the change in stance by Pakistan following China vetoing a UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, some also point towards moves by Islamabad to bring the issue of alleged RAW agent Kulbhushan Yadav, who was said to be picked up in Balochistan while trying to destabilise the region. Despite several requests, India is yet to gain consular access to him.
In Pathankot, 6 terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force base which resulted in 8 deaths, including 1 civilian. Occurring on the 2nd of January, 2016; it is one amongst a bloody series of attack carried out in both the countries, including blasts in a public park on Easter Sunday in Lahore very recently.
With the scourge of terrorism destroying lives by the hundreds and thousands every year, the Pakistan governments statements have been counter-productive to the overall dialogue between the two countries. With increased attacks every year, how long before they wake up to see the monster they have created for what it really is?
Ranveer Raj Bhatnagar