Since the Pulwama terror attack, the tension between the two neighbouring nations – India and Pakistan has heightened. A day before the beginning of the first phase of the general elections in India, the statement from Pakistan’s Prime Minister seemed to be the most unlikely endorsement for Prime Minister Narendra Modi given the current bilateral relations between the two nations.
Mr Khan said that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi wins the general elections could revive hopes for the India-Pak peace process. The Balakot air strike by Indian Air Force (IAF) and Pakistan’s action in Jammu & Kashmir in retaliation has increased the tensions between the countries.
So, what could be the reasons for the comments by Mr Khan?
- Presence of international media: As Pakistan is on the “greylist” and fears being blacklisted if it did not exhibit credible step against terror, Mr Khan’s words to ease tensions between Indian and Pakistan were aimed at USA, European Union and the Gulf countries which hope for the same too.
- To portray Pakistan’s focus to pursue dialogue: As New Delhi stands firm that no talks can resume with Pakistan until terror ends, Pakistan would like to show that it would want to continue discussions with India.
- The Pak belief that non-Congress leaders can initiate peace talks: There is a general belief in Pakistan that non-Congress leaders, once in power, begin bilateral peace talks. In the past, the non-Congress leadership has taken more significant risks to back the peace process.
- National security policies: Both Mr Modi and Mr Khan have promoted stringent policies on national security as both the leaders believe in hard power politics.
Regardless of the election results, we hope the India-Pak relationship charts a new path of friendship and camaraderie.