Media Coverage | October 26, 2018

Sans Dialogue, Is South Asia on the Brink of War?

The current political environment between India and Pakistan is not a harbinger for peace. There was hope that the newly-elected Imran Khan government in Pakistan might succeed in resuming the long-stalled dialogue with India on issues of Kashmir and cross border terrorism. Initially, it seemed as though India would agree to the terms of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent letter to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, requesting a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries at the sidelines of the session of the United Nations. However, India cancelled these talks, blaming Pakistan for the killing of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and accusing it of “glorifying terrorism” by releasing a postage stamp featuring leader of Hizbul Mujahideen, Burhan Wani, who was killed by Indian security forces. Khan responded to India’s claims, calling them baseless and the cancellation of talks “arrogant and negative.” In addition, recent hard-hitting official statements of the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan against each other at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly seem to constrict the space for dialogue between the two countries in the near future. Without ongoing dialogue, India and Pakistan remain mutually vulnerable to the possibility of war.

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