Time For Change


With Modi government taking an aggressive stance with regard to Pakistan and the later reciprocating equally, the bitterness in relation between the two countries has increased.  The continuous rivalry between the two India and Pakistan has adversely affected the ability of the region as a whole to attain its true potential. Both the countries have different narratives with regard to core conflicts, and both keep defending their stand wherever possible. However an important question remains there that how long the two countries can lock horns with each other and ignore other important issues facing both the countries? Both the countries are nuclear powers and the ever increasing rivalry can have serious consequences for the common people of entire region. Not only is Kashmir a nuclear flash point between India and Pakistan but it is also the source of arms race between the two countries.
With recent aggressive developments between the two countries and in the absence of talks and confidence building measures, a single spark can burn both the countries. More importantly the new trend of intolerance which seems engulfing Indian society and culture and which even seems shaping Indian foreign policy is not encouraging at all for peace.
The fact of the matter is that both the countries cannot afford to live in a state of war for ever and thus have to work out their differences and look for peaceful solutions of issues. However the two countries have a different narrative with regard to negotiations and the way conflicts can be resolved.
It needs to be understood by both the countries that they can not wish to resolve conflicts by just defending their narratives and by taking extreme positions. So the two countries have to commit for peaceful coexistence and peaceful solutions of issues and at the same time search for ways to achieve the same.  However one question which arises here is that “Does ‘means’ lead to the ‘end goal’ or is it the other way around with regard to Indo-Pak relations?
Limiting the talks to “terrorism” only and a continuous denial of the disputed nature of Kashmir can only be considered as unrealistic. On the other hand focusing on Kashmir only and ignoring other important issues is equally not fair.  Both the countries need to take small baby steps for the desired end goal of conflict resolution and peaceful coexistence. Such a process should not be allowed to get hijacked by non-state actors and terrorist incidents. The efforts at building confidence and trust and seeking resolution of disputes can only bear fruit if the process is sustained and remains uninterrupted. However both the countries also need to understand that though confidence building measures are very important and prerequisite for peace and conflict resolution but sooner or later they have to address the core conflicts like Kashmir. So the fact remains that in order to reach the destiny of ‘peace’, ‘peaceful solution of conflicts’ and ‘peaceful coexistence’ both the countries need to take small, positive and consistent steps. “Means” which will lead both the countries to much needed and desired “end”, it is not the other way around.

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