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April 16, 2018

India, Pakistan must talk peace but . . .


April 16, 2018

Islamabad: The Deputy High Commissioner (DHC) of India to Islamabad, J.P. Singh said that the tension between on Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary have scaled down as he was not summoned by the Pakistan Foreign Office to receive a protest.

Talking to the guests invited by Avinash Kumar Singh, the Second Secretary (Political), who hosted a dinner reception at his residence recently, the Indian diplomats had an opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with their Pakistani friends and acquaintances.

J.P. Singh joined the party somewhere in the middle and the discussion soon started revolving around the relations between the two countries. The guests were enthusiastically recalling the ‘good old days’ when the relations between the two countries were not strained and the Indian diplomats were not shy of making local friends and invite each other to parties and functions quite frequently.

J.P. Singh expressed optimism that the relations between the two countries would soon thaw. Without any specifics he hinted that efforts to resume talks between the two countries were going on at various levels and a breakthrough may not be in the offing but not too distant too.

Similar hints were dropped by Chairman of the Kolkata-based Centre for Peace and Progress (CPP), O.P. Shah while he was visiting Islamabad last month.

The DHC said that for India and Pakistan there is no other way forward but to talk peace. But, to start the process there are certain wrinkles which need to be ironed out to pave the way for smooth and uninterrupted dialogue process to resolve the issues between the two countries.

The game of cricket also came up in the discussion as not the people of Pakistan (and may of India as well) wish to resume the ‘cricket clashes’ on the field rather than clashing on the LoC or the Working Boundary.

And with Indian Premier League (IPL) already underway in the neighbourhood, there must be thousands of cricket fans who would have loved to cross over and mingle with the Indian crowds to enjoy the IPL matches. But that still seems a far cry!

Gradually the discussion drifted to the political situation prevailing in Pakistan and where the things will lead to as the sitting government of the PML-N is approaching the end of its tenure and soon there will be a caretaker set up in place ahead of holding of general elections. The guests were treated to a sumptuous dinner and the hosts were gracious, warm and welcoming.

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