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Backdoor diplomacy

For several months, there have been reports that Pakistan and India are holding covert backdoor talks to calm tensions between the two countries particularly over Kashmir. These talks have not been denied nor acknowledged, neither is it known what exactly caused the recent détente between the arch-rivals.

It was reported that top intelligence officers from India and Pakistan held secret talks in Dubai in January brokered by the UAE government. The UAE envoy to Washington accepted that the Gulf state played a role to develop a ‘functional’ relationship. These talks are aimed to tone down the rhetoric but how far exactly both countries will agree needs to be seen. India wants Pakistan to drop its stance on abrogating the autonomous status of Kashmir. It is unlikely that Pakistan would abide as the prime minister refused to even revive trade if the decision is not reversed. It is evident there is no grand plan to resolve the Kashmir dispute anytime soon but will not derail talks.

The Foreign Office said Pakistan has never shied away from talks, but the onus lies on India to create an enabling and conducive environment for dialogue. However, it stated that Kashmir remains central to any meaningful or result-oriented dialogue. In return, New Delhi will stopping blaming Pakistan for the border situation. Pakistan’s peace overtures have not been reciprocated by the fascist Modi regime but it is essential that any talks are held without any preconditions.

Whatever prompted the talks and whoever is mediating, it should be welcomed that both sides have shattered the ice and are speaking to each other. There is no problem in the world that cannot be resolved by peaceful means. India and Pakistan can solve all outstanding disputes including Kashmir by dialogue. This is a long, arduous process and expectations would be low at this stage. But it is essential that both countries make efforts to bring regional peace and stability.

It is also surprisingly that India, who always denied third-party interventions, has also agreed to hold talks with Pakistan. The UAE is perhaps more acceptable and can influence both countries. It is also essential that these talks yield results. India and Pakistan had reached a ceasefire agreement which is still holding but now needs to restore diplomatic ties. In the current hostile scenario, backdoor talks are perhaps the most viable solution to end the impasse.