To save its economy, Pakistan reaches out to its Indian rival

Between two evils, you have to choose the lesser. The economic and social situation is so serious in Pakistan that the new government has decided to silence, for a moment, its grievances against India and to propose to it to start peace talks. The pitfalls of such a process are numerous, in particular with regard to the fate reserved for the disputed territories of Kashmir. Nevertheless, the hope of restoring commercial relations with its neighbor, and thus of relieving a Pakistani society in great difficulty, seems to have convinced the Pakistani Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, to take a stand on this explosive subject.

No doubt to limit the impact of the announcement, he chose to speak to a foreign media, the Saudi channel Al-Arabiya. The interview was then broadcast on January 17 on the Pakistani public channel PTV. “Let’s sit around the tablehe declares, and have serious and sincere discussions to resolve our burning issues, such as Kashmir. » He says he is addressing “Indian rulers” and at “Prime Minister, Narendra Modi”. Mr. Sharif, who was in the United Arab Emirates for a two-day visit under the sign of commercial relations, assured that he had asked the Emirates, which “also have good relations with India”to facilitate its initiative.

A few hours after the broadcast of the interview, Mr. Sharif’s office hastened to make a correction, specifying that such talks would nevertheless only be possible if India restored the autonomy of Indian Kashmir, revoked August 5, 2019 by the Hindu nationalist government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), of Narendra Modi. This addendum recalls the extreme sensitivity of the subject. If India did not reconsider this measure described as“illegal annexation” by Islamabad, then the “negotiations will not be possible”assured the office of the Pakistani Prime Minister on Twitter.

“The military establishment supports his approach”

Since the independence of the two countries in 1947, India and Pakistan have been fighting over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, of which they each control a part but which they both claim in its entirety. Over the past seventy-five years, the two nuclear powers have fought three wars (in 1947, 1965 and 1999) over this territory. A fourth confrontation accompanied the 1971 secession of Bangladesh from Pakistan, but many see it as another seismic aftershock of the 1947 partition.

You have 59.82% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *