Pakistan and India agreed to revive the originally known as Composite Dialogue but this time under the new title of ‘India-Pakistan Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’. The development came after months of active confrontation between both the countries on the issue of cross-border terrorism and border skirmishes. Both the South Asian rivals face unresolved complexities in their relationships amid the efforts to make peace.
The Rubric of Comprehensive Dialogue
Indian Foreign Minister Ms. Sushma Sawaraj visited Pakistan for attending the ‘Heart of Asia Conference’ previous year. On the sidelines of the conference he announced the Indian willingness to start dialogue with Pakistan.
She said in her address, “I have a good news for you. India will start Comprehensive Dialogue with Pakistan.” Tone of her words was a bit authoritative but Pakistan welcomed this development for the sake of regional peace.
The dialogue includes following important issues to be brought under discussion;
- Kashmir Problem
- Siachen and Sir Creek Disputes
- Border Skirmishes
- Trade Constraints
Possibilities of Progress
The dialogue can be led to progress if both the countries show sincerity in seeking bilateral solution of their problems. For this purpose India needs to give up its BJP-framed anti-Pakistan rhetoric. At the same time Pakistan needs to clear itself form the Indian blames of supporting cross-border terrorism.
Constraints at Present
In the contemporary run, the constraints present in the progress of dialogue and betterment of relationships include;
A. Lack of Confidence & Trust
None of the two countries have any sort of trust and confidence over the efforts of each other. The reason lies in their long history full of suspicion and rivalry.
B. Cross Border Terrorism
A major constraint is cross-border terrorism that checks any positive development in relations of both the countries. India accuses Pakistan of sponsoring the groups like Jamat u Dawa and its militant wing Lashkar-e-Taiba. Pakistan repudiates these blames and has been itself fighting terrorism effectively.
C. Indian Violent Nationalist Groups
The nationalist factions like Shiv Sena of India brings its extremist ideology ahead in order to prevent any positive development between the relations of both the countries. The Indian Government is often made hostage to this non-state ideology.
D. Hawks against Peace
Peace and dialogue making this peace between both the countries often remain vulnerable to the hawks on both the side of the border. The hawks are present in every in the shapes of groups which exploit the situation of rift between India and Pakistan to their personal benefits.
Other Constraints include;
E. Modi Government’s Stubbornness
F. Absence of Free Trade between both the countries
G. Arms Race
H. Nuclear Stockpiles
I. Deadlock on Territorial Disputes
J. Kashmir Issue
India Pakistan relations have been hostage to divergent ideologies, bitter histories and a number of modern day restraints. Betterment is however seen in the wake of the recent surprise visit to Pakistan by the Indian Prime Minister. Both the countries need to settle their frictions if not for themselves then at least for regional peace and security.