By : Masood Khan
Keeping in view, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) anti-Pakistan rhetoric Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend his swearing-in ceremony has come to many as a pleasant surprise. We could term it Modi’s diplomatic masterstroke. Interestingly, it was the BJP’s hawkish attitude that prevented former
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from visiting Pakistan.
It will be a historic moment for the subcontinent. After decades, India has a strongman in power. Unlike his predecessors, Modi is in a position to take bold decisions. It goes without saying that certain elements, on both sides, are unhappy over this apparent thaw in ties between the archrivals. The question is: Will Indian and Pakistani leaderships continue to march to the tune of the band played by hard-liners who basically thrive by stoking tensions between the two neighbors. Let’s hope that Sharif and Modi turn a new leaf and ignore these hatemongers.
Both sides should strive to get out of the so-called confidence building measures (CBMs) phase and take concrete steps to get closer. Regarding the thorny Kashmir issue, Modi could refer to Manmohan-Musharraf discussions. It is mainly due to this issue that relations between these two countries have never been normalized since independence from the British. Both leaders should try to come up with some out-of-the-box solution to this lingering issue for the betterment of their respective countries and to uplift the living standards of their countrymen.