Rays of hope have started to emerge on the political horizons of the subcontinent after the India-Pakistan foreign secretary level talks at Thimpu culminated on a positive note. Both sides in simultaneous statements issued from Islamabad and New Delhi agreed to resume dialogue on all outstanding issues.
Going by the itinerary issued and the statements made by the two neighboring countries in the backdrop of the thaw at Thimpu, a concrete foundation seems to have been laid by the two foreign secretaries towards the resumption of comprehensive dialogue. The relations between the two countries turned sour in the aftermath of the Mumbai attack in which around 166 people were killed by terrorists who allegedly had come from across the border.
The latest attempt by India towards normalizing its relations with Pakistan gains significance in the light of certain strategic developments that may be a cause of worry for India in near future. With the US setting a timeframe for its withdrawal from Afghanistan, apprehensions of an uprising in Kashmir on the lines of Egypt, Chinese incursions in Ladakh with Pakistan playing a Chinese proxy, a sense of urgency seems to underlie India’s efforts towards resolving all bilateral issues with Pakistan including the flashpoint Kashmir.
Many Kashmir observers including some strategic thinkers in India and abroad have cautioned of a possible unrest in Kashmir in the wake of a widespread uprising in many countries in Middle East. The resurgence of Taliban is another cause of worry for India, which has so far been very active in the development works in Afghanistan, in a bid to increase its influence. Equally annoying for India is the repeated attempts made by China in Ladakh and its increased concern over the border disputes with India.
Analysts believe that the biggest hurdle for India in gaining a permanent seat in a restructured future Security Council will be the long pending Kashmir issue and it’s in the best interests of the nation to resolve it permanently. With the concept of self-determination still holding influence as seen in the cases of East Timor and lately in South Sudan and the kind of developments witnessed in and around Arab world, India is getting clear signals from its own think tank as well from voices being raised outside its borders.
However, the mood in Kashmir is still gloomy with the killing of 111 youth in the wake of summer unrest and for present there seems to be to takers of the positive signs shown by the two neighbours towards the resolution of long pending dispute that has been their main bone of contention.