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Pakistan-India backchannel talks stall

Pakistan-India backchannel talks have reached a dead end as the two neighbouring countries struggle to agree on slow gradual improvement in bilateral relationship.

The backchannel talks between Pakistan and India have been going on but they have reached a point where things aren’t moving forward, media reports have claimed.

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Despite the desire of both sides to break the impasse, moving forward from the current point has become an issue.

The backchannel contacts between the two sides that had started during the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s tenure, picked up pace in April after change of government in Pakistan. However the two sides are not willing to concede and thus the talks have come to a halt amid intense backchannel diplomacy.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been among the first leaders to congratulate Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The move had sparked optimism about a possible thaw in relationships but the increased political uncertainty in Pakistan had slowed down the process.

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Pakistan’s first priority in its bilateral engagement with India is Kashmir but India is focused on resumption of trade as a priority.

Media reports have said that India’s hard stance on Kashmir issue and efforts to hold G-20 summit in Srinagar had not gone well with Pakistan. This friction in relationships of the two countries was also quite visible in the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting when the two foreign ministers did not interact.

The relations between the two countries were already tense but India’s revocation of the status of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) on August 5, 2019 had turned them worse. The Indian move had downgraded diplomatic relations, bilateral trade was suspended and structural dialogues between the neighboring countries had come to a halt.

According to media reports, India has been inclined to the re-engagement but was reluctant to offer something that would help Pakistan resume the dialogue. The Western powers, including the United States and the UK, have also been pushing for defusing tensions.

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1 COMMENT

  1. If the Kashmir issue is not resolved and the talks and the trade is run then it is a compromise on the state of the occupied Kashmir.

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