India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MOE) has accused Pakistan of failing to create an atmosphere free of terror and hostility for talks, putting the onus on New Delhi to create an environment conducive to dialogue and peace in the region.
Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch emphasized the importance of dialogue between Pakistan and India taking place in an environment free from the coercion and belligerence that India continues to display in the region.
The FO’s statement came in response to the Indian ministry’s recent comments on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s speech, in which he said Pakistan was ready to talk to its neighbour, provided the neighbour is serious about talking about serious issues. The FO believes that it is important for Pakistan and India to engage in dialogue in an environment free from coercion and belligerence, as India continues to display in the region.
Experts argue that both sides have achieved their respective political gains in the past and want to continue doing so in the future. Senior political analyst Javed Siddiqui said that hatred between the two countries has overpowered any hope and desire for peace or similar initiative taken through a considered decision by both sides.
External interference, pressuring both sides to sit at the table, becomes part of a foreign policy campaign. Sadly, counter-rhetoric from both sides has been going on for years and has now acquired a reputation of rhetorical and symbolic value for the people.