Perennial stubbornness


In a bid to convince the Indian leadership to shun its perennial stubbornness over a host of issues, including the burning Kashmir dispute, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has recently renewed the offer to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to come to the negotiations table and sort out their differences for the mutual benefit of the people of the two nuclear-armed countries.
Since partition, the relationship between the two South Asian neighbors has remained largely hostile, which is rooted not only in historical and political events, notably the occupation of Jammu and Kashmir by India, but it has also been impaired by the stubborn attitude of the Indian leadership, which has ignored all efforts on part of Pakistan for a rapprochement and is bent upon subjugating the Kashmiri people by force.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on a recent visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) renewed the offer during an interview with an foreign TV channel and called upon Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reverse his actions taken after August 2019, when the occupied valley was stripped off its special constitutional status, and sit down for talks to resolve all the outstanding issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
As reported by this newspaper, PM Shehbaz Sharif in a very candid message maintained: “My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that let us sit down on the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning issues like Kashmir”.
Mr Sharif also underlined the formula for resumption of talks between India and Pakistan and termed the role of UAE leadership pivotal in bringing the two nations to table. No doubt, those negotiations with India, as clarified by the foreign office soon after the interview was aired, are subject to the revocation of its unlawful move taken on August 5, 2019, to strip the valley of its special status. “Until the reversal of that unilateral step, there could be no discussions between the two states”, the statement read.
It is obvious that bilateral relations between the two countries have never been cordial. Pakistan’s repeated offer of engagement has been turned down by the far right and ultra-nationalist Hindu dispensation ruling India.
The peace process is unlikely to be resumed any time soon, but at least both sides should tone down the rhetoric to prevent further escalation.
As the bilateral relations between the two neighbors are driven more by their geopolitical considerations rather than their shared economic interests, it is difficult to predict whether or not the fresh offer of a rapprochement by Islamabad will be received with an open mind by New Delhi, which has slammed the doors on negotiations and seems bent upon carrying on its nefarious agenda in the illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir valley.