The surprising interview of the prime minister’s national security advisor to an Indian TV channel has opened quite a can of worms. Yet one of the things that did come out of it, despite all the controversy expected from such an exchange, was the acceptance of Pakistan’s position that talks on all outstanding issues is the only way forward for the two countries. The host and very famous and rather balanced Indian journalist Karan Thapar, who was forced to depart from his own individual position on most aspects of Indian foreign policy for very obvious reasons, could not really rebut the claim that border and diplomatic tensions will only begin to subside when both sides get serious about negotiations.
The journalist was put in a rather awkward position. Everybody, at least within the media, knows that he’s one of those few brave soldiers of his kind left in India’s press who have openly questioned and criticised the Modi administration’s policies. That is why the interview, which revolved around foreign policy, forced him onto the back foot. For he knows only too well that presently Delhi’s relations with all its immediate neighbours are at an unprecedented low. And if Pakistan-India friction can hold back regional progress, even trade and groupings like SAARC, it shouldn’t really take an ace from Indian media to figure out what harm the kind of diplomatic breakdown that the Modi government has caused can do.

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