India is not likely to resume the stalled peace dialogue with Pakistan anytime soon despite the recent summit talks between the two nuclear armed neighbours in New York, officials told The Express Tribune.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his meeting with Manmohan Singh proposed the immediate resumption of composite dialogues.
“However, the Indian prime minister turned down his suggestion arguing that atmosphere was not right at this stage to resume the dialogue process,” an official said while requesting anonymity.
The third-round of composite dialogues could not resume first due to tensions at the Line of Control (LoC).
The only meeting for composite dialogue took place in September last year.
As per the roadmap, a series of meetings at the official level was to take place earlier this year but the process had to be put on hold due to the LoC tensions.
In an effort to break the deadlock, Islamabad had proposed a fresh roadmap for resumption of the third round of composite dialogue with India in July this year.
Pakistan had proposed to hold the Tulbul-Wullar Barrage meeting between the two countries’ water and power secretaries on August 27-28, and the Sir Creek maritime boundary issue meeting on September 16-17.
However, India refused to respond to Pakistan’s proposed dates due to strained ties over repeated ceasefire violations at the LoC.
The official privy to Nawaz-Manmohan talks said Pakistan conveyed to the Indian leadership that the process of dialogue must not be held hostage to any single incident.
However, the Indian prime minister insisted that the two countries first need to sort out controversy over the recent LoC tensions.
Another official commenting on the Indian stance painted a grim picture of the prospects of peace process with India.
“It appears that the government in India is under pressure from opposition. They may not take any decision on normalising relations with Pakistan due to domestic compulsion,” the official said.
When contacted, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry confirmed that no decision had been taken at this stage to resume the composite dialogue.
“The meeting between the two leaders was positive and productive. It was agreed to address the immediate issue of cross LoC tensions,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2013.