The Prime Minister-elect of India, Narendra Modi invited the Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to attend the former’s swearing in ceremony at New Delhi. The latter accepted it. It was
a gracious gesture on part of the leaders of two perpetually estranged neighbours. This first right step to amble towards peace and to pick the threads which had been shattered by myopic dictator’s Kargil misadventure, infuriated the hawks and the ill-informed on both sides of the border who invented flawed theories and churned malicious rumors. In fact there were no immediate expectations of the Nawaz-Modi meeting. It was rather an ice breaker between the countries. It was a meeting, which conveyed that both were ready to talk, and eager to see peace in the region. It was a huge Confidence Building Measure (CBM).
Mutual restraint is an integral ingredient of CBM. If Modi mentioned Mumbai attacks, experienced Sharif ignored the ill-timed mention by a fledgling Prime Minister instead of coming up with his own
plethora of allegations. This was the best answer to achieve the objectives of walking steadily on peace track. Howsoever true it may be, Pakistan has been hardly able to present palpable proofs of Indian involvement in Balochistan and FATA insurgency therefore it was better to stay quite till we get some to throw in their face.
Rather it was the malicious statements of Afghan President Karzai at New Delhi who accused Pakistan of involvement in attacks on Indian Consulate in Heart and of harbouring Mullah Umer in Quetta, which needed to be condemned. But he was ignored because he is our Muslim brother neighbour. Some sober elements have rightly demanded of a life ban on his entry in Pakistan after he gives up his
It was a positive development that both the PMs agreed that the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan will remain in touch, and both countries can immediately move towards full trade normalization on the basis of the September 2012 Pakistan-India roadmap.
Despite all positivity and hope the fact remains that more than sixty years old sour relations cannot be turned sweet with one stroke. There are many slips between the cup and lips. There are elements and quarters beyond our control that can derail the process and pit two nuclear nations against each other. It is the need of the hour to be extra vigilant to ward off the machinations of the antagonists
and at the same time keep our guards up to face any challenge thrown at us.