India-Pakistan relations have seen a lot of turbulence in recent times. India talks of punishing those behind the Mumbai terror attacks and Pakistan complains about violation of the Indus Waters Treaty. India brings up cross-border infiltration, Pakistan plays out the Baloch card and so on. Imtiaz Alam rightly points out that both sides should put their past behind, bring back the spirit of negotiation and move forward (“How not to have a round of talks,” July 19). Both sides need to meet each other half-way. Unless they do so, the game of one-upmanship will continue to play out.
The endless rounds of India-Pakistan talks remind me of an old, Haryanvi anecdote. A middle-aged man refused to agree that 2+2 was 4. His irrational behaviour exasperated everyone. Asked why 2+2 was not 4, his reply was simple: “because I don't think so.” Who could argue with that? Pakistan is not amenable to straightforward talk — let us not waste valuable time and allow its leaders to insult our diplomats and Ministers time and again.
The reasons for Pakistan's frustration are well known. India insists on action against terrorists and the elimination of terror groups operating from Pakistan as a condition for restoring the composite dialogue. But Pakistan's main concern is Kashmir. No amount of pressure from any country can persuade Islamabad to end terrorism unless the Kashmir issue is resolved to its satisfaction.
Vadrevu Soma Raju,
On the foreign policy front, the situation in 2010 is exactly as it was in 1950. Ministers wearing various party badges have come and gone and no action or policy adopted by them has helped in evolving a permanent policy on anything. Nor has any action proved effective. The same game, with the occasional “tough talk,” goes on.
Keywords: India-Pakistan ties