Just before Arun Jaitley’s departure to Jammu and Kashmir came the news of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LOC) by Pakistani militants. Is it mere coincidence that the Pakistani Militants have violated ceasefire agreement just a day ahead of Union Minister Arun Jaitley’s visit the bordering state?
Modi started off in a positive note and to reciprocate the gesture with cross border infiltration and firings is certainly not what was anticipated by India.
Narendra Modi’s invitation for Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his oath taking ceremony in May this year, was not just a showy gesture but a bold step. There have been gestures in the past but this was a symbolic gesture. The two even engaged in Saree-Shawl diplomacy at the time of Modi’s swearing in ceremony.
Mr Sharif was optimistic for having good ties with the Modi-led government but violation of ceasefire by Pakistani militants could hamper India’s effort to make peace. From time to time, there have been several infiltration bids by Pakistani militants along the LOC. In May this year, two jawans (Indian soldiers) were also killed along the LOC.
Pakistan has also constantly referred to as a Safe Haven for terrorists. For Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif, his weak position or his inability to control the terrorist groups has caused mayhem in his own country. It is more of Pakistan military decisions controlling the country’s external relations than its government. Nevertheless, it all depends on how far Mr Sharif could stand true to his promises and convince the stakeholders in his country.
Talking of home ground, in the past, the Congress led-United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was blamed for being soft on Indo-Pak issue. When in opposition, criticism is easy. As the new government embarks on delivering its skills to handle the issue, the opposition is ever ready to use it as a yardstick to measure their flaws.
Better relations are in everyone’s interests and it has been said repeatedly that for lasting peace between India and Pakistan, there must be peace on the LOC. But this is easier said than done. Peace has been desired for long and is the only option to go forward. But seems like India is not going to let Kashmir go and Pakistan has no reason to give it up either.
Hope is that Prime Minister Sharif will put in his best effort, just as our leaders should be doing, in taking Indo-Pak relations to an era of peace.
Valentina Telien Kom
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