Reviving Bilateral Dialogue | Editorial

The famed Neemrana Dialogue, the oldest Track-II initiatives between India and Pakistan comes at an opportune time to broker amity between the two neighbours. In the wake of the recent cross border confrontations and foreseeable bickering over water resources over an unforgiving summer, the revival of the Neemrana Dialogue meetings that had dwindled before is positive step. More so, the overture of the Indian delegation travelled to Pakistan for the meeting, is another extended olive branch that must be reciprocated with grace.
The meeting might contribute to dialogue leading to further improvements in the bilateral relationship. The two estranged neighbours have recently marked another first in their relationship by committing to joint military exercises under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, whereby Pakistani troops and their Indian counterparts will engage in drills with the aim to build trust and mutual understanding and to formulate a mutually agreed upon program to manage border affairs. Both initiatives call for a welcome thawing of hostilities following the recent alleged ceasefire violations across the Line of Control that have seen relations between the countries deteriorate. All endeavours between the two acrimonious neighbours can go a long way in side stepping the broader disputes and in working towards an amicable relationship for stability in the region.
The program is recognised by the foreign ministries of both countries thus aims at a more authentic engagement between the counterparts, keeping channels of communication open. While India, under the more irascible elements of the Modi administration had been hesitant in promulgating any initiative that contributed to bilateral dialogues, a constant will to reconcile the differences between both countries can be deciphered and should be encouraged. The establishment in Pakistan as well as its counterpart it India should advocate for more initiatives that contribute to collaboration and cooperation for an overarching forbearing relationship. At a time when even the Koreas have come together in a display of symbolic reconciliation, the idea of a cordial Pak-India bilateral engagement can also be brought to realisation, with the right political motivation from both sides.

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