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Thursday, March 23, 2023

PM Modi replies to PM Khan: Will peace get a chance in South Asia?

Indian PM Modi replies to Imran Khan's letter, claims that peaceful relationship with all its neighbors is key priority for India.

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News Analysis |

According to media reports, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar have replied to letters by their Pakistani counterparts. Prime Minster Imran Khan and Foreign Minster Shah Mehmood Qureshi wrote congratulatory letters to their Indian counterparts on winning recent Indian elections and assuming their respective offices.

In recent Indian general elections where 900 million voters exercised their right to vote, Prime Minster Modi-led Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed a historic victory, 352 seats, by defeating Congress, a known voice for liberal democracy and secularism in India.

PM Khan wrote a letter to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and formally congratulated him. He also offered PM Modi to work together for durable peace and stability in South Asia and to promote a peaceful neighbor-hood.

It is important to build an environment of trust, free of terror, violence and hostility

In response, Indian premier has said that his country was ready to initiate talks and find out the solution of every outstanding issue concerning the both states. PM Modi has reportedly said “it is important to build an environment of trust, free of terror, violence and hostility”.

These letters carrying flowery language apart, Pakistan and India are two uneasy neighbor where building trust and peace is a big task for anyone claiming the lead role. India, for being a bigger economy, always claims, advertently or inadvertently, to dominate the peace process in order to protect its strategic interests to claim regional supremacy. Pakistan has always objected over Indian stance and maintained to initiate talks on equal footings.

India’s double-faced diplomacy:

Since the time PM Khan assumed his office he made several efforts to resume talks with India with an intention to resolve all issues ranging from Kashmir to terrorism. He approached India prime minister and foreign office through formal channels but his invitation of talks and cooperation were rejected by the Indian administration. At one moment, the premier had to say “small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.”

Dr. Moeed Pirzada in his talk-show Hard Talk Pakistan on 92 News maintained that India was not willing engage with Pakistan because of its strategic interests. “I have been arguing for last 8 to 10 years that the Indian establishment did not want to get engaged with authorities in Pakistan due to their complex strategic interests in the region. But, at the same time, India has been able to convince the world by using some optics that she was interested to have a dialogue with Pakistan but the latter is  allegedly sponsoring terrorism in India which is not in line with the international protocols,” he added.

Mr. Shamshad Ahmad Khan agreed with Dr. Pirzada and added that the Indian is following the policy since after 9/11. “It is not in the interest of India to engage with Pakistan due to its several internal and regional complexities,” he said.

Read more: PM Khan tried to converse with Modi

Political observers in Pakistan believe that since PM Modi sold out anti-Pakistan narrative in his election campaign therefore he won’t be able to engage with Pakistan any time soon. PM Modi won his first election while focusing on questioning the status quo, upgrading economy, eliminating poverty and making India great. His focus on anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan narrative was visible but not over-dominating in his election campaigns.

But during the recent general election, Modi, who could not provide Indian people with what he had promised to, entirely built up his election campaign on anti-Pakistan rhetoric which bore fruits for him. That was the reason that Modi did not invite PM Khan in his oath taking ceremony which clearly indicated his domestic anti-Pakistan position.