Imran has struck the right note on India ties

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Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan seems to be very keen on a thaw in relations between India and Pakistan. He has at least thrice offered to resume dialogue with India since his party won the elections on July 25 – during his victory speech, in his address to the nation and in a tweet. “To move forward Pakistan and India must dialogue and resolve their conflicts including Kashmir. The best way to alleviate poverty and uplift the people of the subcontinent is to resolve our differences through dialogue and start trading,” he tweeted. Imran also said: “If India moves one step ahead, we will move two steps as we want to improve our relations with India, if their leadership also wants it.” His intentions are crystal clear that he wants peace with India for he knows his country cannot make a comeback without having friendly neighbours, especially India. New Delhi, though, has not responded to his call so far and probably has not taken him seriously, knowing that Pakistan’s mighty military establishment had superseded every political decision in the past when it came to having a dialogue with India. Looking back, the composite dialogue between the two countries had started when military dictator and former president Zia-ul-Haq visited India in 1985 and started the process of dialogue with the then Indian prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi. A number of issues were settled, but nothing was done regarding the Kashmir issue. Thereafter, Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart I.K. Gujral restarted the dialogue process at the Male South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Summit in 1997. But it was halted without any significant progress because of the 1998 nuclear tests and the 1999 Kargil conflict.

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