Off The Table 

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Strength

After India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5 and the whole valley was put under lockdown with communication snapped, the hostilities with two arch rivals India and Pakistan grew unprecedented. In fact the already strained relations were further downgraded after Pakistan unilaterally decided to call back its High Commissioner from New Delhi and asked Indian High Commissioner to leave the country. Pakistan also closed its trade ties with the neighbouring country besides shut its airspace.

The political manoeuvres by Pakistan across the world against India’s move of abrogating Article 370 which it believes have violated the 11 United Nations Security Councils resolutions strained their relations. Despite mounting pressure on India for its continuous lockdown in the region it maintain firmly that the decision was India’s internal and aimed to boost the socio economic conditions of conflict torn 12 million population.

India, however, accused Pakistan of meddling into India’s internal matters and asked it to back off. The stand-off between the two nuclear powers of south Asia again forced international meddling into the south Asian affairs ostensibly especially by America, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates though all failed to bring the warring nations on talking table.

While the escalations between the two countries have drastically come down over the weeks, what America has also claimed, all eyes were set on September 27 when the two leaderships were expected to meet at United Nations General Assembly. The Indian leadership had already made it clear that it will not pitch the issues that are its internal despite Pakistan’s continuous resistance. On the other side, Pakistan was all poised to attack India at the forum over its decision of revoking Kashmir’s special status and keeping it under continuous lockdown. This is what happened. India talked more about prosperity, peace and socioeconomic development. Narender Modi who also on the sidelines of the session was awarded by Bill and Melinda Gates foundation for SwachhBharat Abhiyan for building 11 crore toilets in country spoke in length over the issues the world is confronting, green house gas emission, climate change etc. He assured that his country will be side by side to the world and will serve as critical partner to the world in tackling these issues. While he insisted also on terrorism as major challenge the world is facing and asked world community to come forward to fight it collectively, it was probably for the first time that India unexpectedly skipped the word “Kashmir or Pakistan”.  This is an indicative of major shift by India’s foreign policy despite the fact that India actually went to the United Nations in 1947 over Kashmir. India is firm on not allowing any mediation on Kashmir though Donald Trump put his services open many a times. India this time without succumbing an inch is handling the pressure with all its political and diplomatic powers.  On the other side the Pakistan’s political leadership led by Imran Khan also refuses to budge down and continuous to highlight Kashmir issue at both domestic and international forum. In fact in his speech where the Kashmir was dominating issue at UNGA, he left the option of war open given to India’s refusal to enter into any dialogue.  He expressed his disappointment and dissatisfaction with India’s unilateral decision of abrogating Article 370 and subsequent silence of world community.  Given to Khan’s speech and accusing India’s leadership of working on a plot of “ethnic cleansing” of minorities, it is unlikely that India’s ruling dispensation which enjoys not only the sweeping majority but also popular support domestically will take these comments callously. This apparently seems to have shut all the doors for dialogue, for now. The international posturing on India by Pakistan as “Hindu radical state” may not allow BJP to go on talking table and it is expected in the coming times the escalations between the two countries may further grow. And the world must remember that any hostility between the two nuclear neighbours is never in the interests of world.

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