Burying the Hatchet

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Since 1947, both nuclear-armed archrivals, Pakistan and India, came head to head several times and the territorial dispute over Kashmir is the cause of their intractable disagreement. The strife between both nations is often typified as that of post-World War France and Germany, and it has been said that if those two nations made truce then it is also possible that Pakistan and India can also reach to a settlement. Along with four full-fledge wars and numerous skirmishes, several attempts has also been made for the reconciliation by both nations but all efforts remained futile. Apart from adopting a beggar thy neighbor policies against each other, both nations are aware of the security threat, dilemma, and rising cost of conflict emanating from their long-standing rivalry. Whereas both, India and Pakistan are also aware that the dividends of peace are much higher than their enmity and a bonhomie will lead to a prosperous, secure and developed region. However, in last few weeks, the civil and military leadership of both states has showed the gestures of reconciliation and underlying rationale of this rapprochement is the prevalent geopolitical and geo-economic dynamics of the region and beyond. Conceivably, the a letter of Narendra Modi is an extension of an olive branch to his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on National Day of Pakistan and it expresses India’s desires to restore cordial relations with its neighboring country. Similarly, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff said that, we are looking forward to rapprochement in the region but without the resolution of dispute of Kashmir through peaceful means, the idea of rapprochement will remain susceptible to derailment to the politically motivated bellicosity. There is no doubt that with the success of talks, resumption of trade, and increase interdependency although we know that its a spillover effect will benefit the people of these developing economies but it should be understood that Kashmir resolution is a prerequisite of this disentanglement and without resolution of Kashmir, we cannot move forward. We should spare ourselves time and efforts before we devise additional CBMs or hold composite dialogues. It is always a good time to bury the hatchet and move forward but we cannot neglect the plight of our Kashmir brethren.

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