An entire year has passed since the Manmohan Singh government decided it was time to find a way to break the dialogue deadlock and kick-start the process of engagement with Pakistan. Both India and Pakistan remain embroiled in a confrontational engagement, even as the world around marches along, benefiting from an era of prolonged global peace. The 2008 terrorist bombing of Mumbai must not forever shadow the bilateral equation. Two years are enough to lick the wounds and assuage public feelings of outrage; after that, the business of running the two neighbouring states must be taken in hand. There are significant changes in the conflict dynamics of both India and Pakistan that must push both to review their stance towards each other. The centrality that drives the mindset on both sides is the enemy status that each side maintains of the other. Just as the Pakistani military remains India-centric, the Indian military, too, retains Pakistan as the prime threat.
Preconditioning dialogue means dooming it beforehand. It is time to get back to the drawing boards and give peace a chance. The Thimphu spirit just might be it. Talks are good. Sustain those by making them “uninterrupted and uninterruptible”. Preconditioning dialogue means dooming it beforehand. It is time to get back to the drawing boards and give peace a chance. The Thimphu spirit just might be it. Talks are good!