Talks with India

By Editorial Board
January 22, 2023

New Delhi has responded to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s suggestion regarding opening up talks with India, of course after considerations regarding Occupied Kashmir are taken care of. And the response has been what one would expect from Modi’s India, New Delhi saying talks could be held – but in a conducive atmosphere free of terror. The reference to terror raises hackles in some Pakistani circles and suggests once more that India is not really eager to talk with its neighbour.


Pakistan and India’s relations have been stalled since 2019 when India altered the special status allocated to Jammu and Kashmir under the Indian constitution. The Modi government has made it clear it has no real desire to talk to Pakistan and continues to bring up the issue of terror, even though the regime in India is possibly responsible for allowing more terrorist attacks directed against minorities to take place than is the case in Pakistan. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has also pointed out that terrorism in India needs to be halted. In this situation perhaps the only resolution can come about if, as Pakistan’s PM has suggested, there is third party intervention. Pakistan has said it would welcome UAE intervention both on the Kashmir issue and on the general state of relations between Pakistan and India. It is crucial for the region that the neighbours talk, especially given that Pakistan also has a hostile neighbour on the western border and cannot afford so much difficulty in dealing with neighbours both to its east and to its west.

Trade with India could be a factor in bringing down inflation of at least some items, and allowing the country to move forward from the current crisis it is facing. This makes it imperative that India be brought to the talks table and it seems that a third party needs to come in to persuade New Delhi to begin a new process of talks and a genuine effort to settle matters without hurling slurs or making insinuations about each other. As it stands today, India clearly wants to continue portraying Pakistan as a terrorist state and to sow discord within our own borders. Talks on any issue, be it trade, cross-border travel, terrorism or Kashmir, are only possible if both countries are willing to engage in good faith, which largely seems missing in India’s case.