Lost Track

Published at March 21, 2017 01:24 AM 0Comment(s)205views


Lost Track

The two governments and respective leaderships in India and Pakistan in the last two years have gained the support and confidence of the people, an estimated 1.4 billion combined population, believed to exceed that of China. In India it is BJP-led government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that has been gaining both the ground and confidence of the majority and in Pakistan it is PML-N government headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that has survived terror attacks, street agitations, Azadi and Inqilab marches. The leaderships in the two countries have fully stabilized their governments and are comparatively at a better position to take decisive steps. Although both BJP and PML-N are identified as right-wing conservative parties, but a sense of strong leadership has evolved and come out in the last couple of years. From visits to mango diplomacy, there have been instances when battered relations were anticipated to get better. The opportunities and misses have in fact been a feature of the relation between India and Pakistan. Despite the overwhelming support of the majority and some decisive moments, the two have been retracing the track and starting the processes rather slowly. With the result, the relations most of the time seems to ebb than move forward and yield the benefits that 1.4 billion people are entitled to. In J&K, most of the sections have explicitly thrown their weight behind a process that aims at putting an end to the hostility and resolution of issues amicably. The biggest impediment, as can be discerned today and going by the events in the two countries in last two years, is the internal politics and how it has been affecting the external affairs. Earlier, when it was election time in Pakistan, the approach towards India was confrontational, or hawkish. In 2016 elections in PaK, PML-N won the elections, a landslide victory indeed with 31 in its pocket out of total 41 seats. Once the elections in Pakistan were over, assembly elections in India in several states were approaching, the most important being UP state assembly elections. The demeanor was reciprocated, and to think of any progress to be made in this period was unlikely. The concern that has come to fore recently is how internal political processes and discourses are setting the tone of the talk that happens or is likely to happen between the two countries, the two governments and the two leaderships. The 1.4 billion people hardly have any say amidst the political campaigning to consolidate and retain power within the two countries. In the continuing periods of elections and other internal political processes, there can hardly be a window to reach out to the neighbor!                     

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