‘Indo-Pak Peace’: Fantasy or a Long-Drawn Out Argument?
The Big StoryMarch 24, 202100:30:45

‘Indo-Pak Peace’: Fantasy or a Long-Drawn Out Argument?

In a rare conciliatory note to India on 19 March, Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa called for the arch-rivals to “bury the past” and move towards cooperation. The note comes after a surprise joint statement issued by the two neighbours on 25 February, where each side recommitted to a ceasefire along the Line of Control and other disputed sections of the border.

In response to Gen Bajwa’s speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on 22 March, extending greetings on Pakistan Day, stating that India desires “cordial relations” with its neighbour in an environment “devoid of terror and hostility”.

However, there are signs of the India-Pakistan relationship thawing, with the two governments even agreeing to cooperate on healthcare under the aegis of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the Centre recently allowing Prime Minister Imran Khan's special aircraft to use India’s airspace while flying to Sri Lanka for a visit, and the Indus Commissioners of India and Pakistan meeting for the first time in over two years on 23 March.

It is important to note that these are small steps, and brokering long-lasting peace between any two countries is long term process and there are several factors other than just talks which incapsulate the doctrine of peace.

The recent engagements between the old neighbours do raise the following questions- could the recent dialogues be a prelude to peace talks between the two countries, and what role do external powers, if any, have played in prompting these talks.

Host and Producer: Himmat Shaligram
Vivek Katju, former Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, and Smita Sharma, independent senior journalist and contributing editor at India Ahead.
Editor: Shelly Walia
Music: Big Bang Fuzz

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