Analysts weigh in on Modi govt's U-turn on Pakistan's invitation for talksWorld
The Indian government on Friday cancelled a meeting between the Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers, scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, just a day after confirming the development.
The spokesperson of India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Raveesh Kumar, claimed that the meeting has been called off due to "unclean intentions" on Pakistan's side.
Analysts, however, argue that it is the upcoming Indian election that has Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharti Janta Party (BJP) hesitant from engaging with Pakistan. Here's what they have to say:
Zarrar Khurho, DawnNewsTV anchor
"I am not going to fault the Pakistan government for reaching out to the Indian government, that is fairly standard for any new government. However, the language used in the Indian cancellation is nothing short of a Bollywood script or a Star Plus drama.
It is an accurate assessment that with the election coming up the Indian government would not have reached out to Pakistan as they are catering to a local audience that they themselves have radicalised.
In general, I don't think the relationship between Pakistan and India would normalise anywhere in the near future. This cancellation just goes to show that sides have been picked in the region and the upcoming Indian election will only escalate this situation and there may even be some military adventures closer to that time."
Amjad Shuaib, defence analyst
"If Modi shows any flexibility towards Pakistan he will lose all the popularity he has gained through his anti-Pakistan narrative, and the election is just a few months away.
Pakistan should now give a counter-narrative and highlight India's tactics to the world or else we will be shouldering all the blame for the lack of dialogue once more.
We need to understand that India will not be ready for talks even in the next 10-12 years. They will be ready once they are done changing the proportion of the population in Kashmir — something that they have been actively trying to do.
Once that proportion is in their favour, then they will be ready to talk.
India does not want to engage in talks with Pakistan, this has always been their strategy. They first started to propagate the narrative that the civilian leaderships want peace but it is the army that is the creating hurdles for these talks.
Then we see all the examples of the way their civilian leadership speaks about Pakistan. They say things like 'burn all the products that are coming from Pakistan'.
The truth is, friendship cannot be thrust upon someone, it is a two-sided affair."
Zahid Hussain, political analyst
"I believe that this is not a major setback. We made an offer and India refused it, this does not mean we have anything to lose. We should not be too worried about this.
I also think that it is okay if the talks are not happening as yet. If the meeting had occurred, there would have been a rise in expectations [that various issues between the two countries would be resolved].
Pakistan is talked about a lot during the Indian election, so it is correct to think that that is part of the reason.
On the other hand, they may not have wanted to talk as yet because they know that nothing would come out of it and a meeting like this would create a false perception. India is not in the mood for that right now."