In the most unexpected developments, India and Pakistan held NSA level talks in Bangkok on Sunday. In what was a secret meeting till it concluded, the National Security Advisers of both countries along with their foreign secretaries discussed peace and security concerns of both countries. In a joint statement released by India’s NSA Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart, Lt. Gen (Retd.) Nasir Khan Janjua, said the meeting covered, “peace and security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, and other issues, including tranquillity along the LoC.” They went on to add this meeting was in continuation of the talks that kicked off between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif on November 30th in Paris.
So can we conclude that India-Pakistan talks are back on track? Well surely this meeting indicates a will on both sides to reset the engagement process and take a re-look at giving peace a chance in the sub-continent. Especially after the breakdown of talks even before they started, the popular perception has been that the relation between both nations have reached its nadir. Decidedly there has been a climb-down from their positions for both parties but the point is would it lead to a meaningful and constructive dialogue which in its turn could flag off sustained peace and harmony in the region?
In a visit that is yet to be announced, India’s External Minister, Sushma Swaraj, will be leading the Indian Delegation at the Heart Of Asia donor conference on Afghanistan, later this week. Ms Swaraj is set to leave for Islamabad for the conference on December 8 and is also likely to meet Pakistani leaders on the sidelines of this conference.
In a span of a fortnight, we see that the Prime Ministers, the Security Advisers, Foreign Secretaries and now Ministers are set to explore ways and means to procure peace in the region. We can surely call this as a sign of changing times and perhaps the Clarion call for some long-lasting changes in India-Pakistan relations and continuing menace of terrorism in the region. But will the momentum survive or will it be another false hype like Ufa Pact? Guess that will be a wait and watch game.