India aborted high-level talks with Pakistan following the killings of three police officers in Kashmir. India’s Ministry of External Affairs also cited Pakistan’s release of a series of 20 postage stamps as ‘glorifying terrorists’. Talks between the two nuclear super-powers were to be held at the United Nations in New York.
India’s stance has surprised many as Pakistan’s new prime minister, Imran Khan had opened all doors for talks ever since taking office in August. “Disappointed at the arrogant and negative response by India to my call for the resumption of the peace dialogue,” Khan wrote on his official Twitter account. Pakistan has also attributed the aborted talks to India’s upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Meanwhile, India’s Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has welcomed the government’s decision. Kashmir’s daily newspaper, Greater Kashmir highlight Rawat stressing, “infiltration from across the border persists despite the call for a ceasefire by Pakistan.”
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In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Rav said, “its obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning the evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed and true face of the new Prime Minister of Pakistan has been revealed to the world in his first few months in the office.”
The last high-level talks between the two neighboring countries were in 2017 with regards to the Indus Water Treaty. Resumption of talks would have once again centered around Kashmir. Bad blood between India and Pakistan goes to the 1947 partition. Over the years, the conflict has grown from Jammu and Kashmir territorial to the 1971 civil war (over East Pakistan – today’s Bangladesh), to nuclear rivalry to Kargil.
But the heart of the conflict in Kashmir. A report by Brookings, ‘War and Peace in South Asia’, states that “Kashmir has been the locus of a variety of terrorist operations, and it has become a “cause” among radical Islamic groups around the world.”
Dialogue is important for India and Pakistan to move forward. War and bloodshed have benefited neither of the countries. Brookings suggests a routinized dialogue. The dialogue process is essential and must continue. “The process will consist of small, baby steps at first, but this could lead to more substantive discussions in the near future.”