The peace process with the Tehrik -e-Taliban Pakistan on the WOT, and the India government on Pakistan-India disputes got bogged down at initial stages. Neither of the two processes got a kick start needed for such dialogues. Offer of talks to militant groups was followed by increase in violence and terrorism resulting into increased instability and violence. Similarly offer of talks with India led to resurgence of serious allegations and maligning of Pakistan along with increased tension between two countries.
From the beginning it seemed as if the ideas of these peace talks were not very well conceived. These were also untimely and without proper ground work. Both TTP and Indian government gave negative initial response to the Pakistan government’s offers of talks cum negotiations. It created the impression of a one sided dialogue. Instead of giving positive response both TTP and Indian government intensified criminal activities.
Peace through dialogue must be given a chance but the process has to be well thought out and deliberated. Negotiations are an art where everything is not conceded before the start. Any concession even when made has to be reciprocal and at appropriate time. Desire for negotiations or dialogue has to be from both sides. talks are conducted in un-inflammatory environment if not conducive. In order not to ignite the controversies, at least restrain has to be exercised before and during the talks by both sides.
Some pre conditions and conduct modalities are required to be worked out through back channel even when talks are un-conditional. Preparations and working out roadmap of talks with time frame are vital elements to begin the process. Each side has to consider options available for give and take and possible outcomes with win win situation for both sides.
Indian Prime Minister instead of paying heed to offer of talks was focusing his energies in getting Pakistan declared as epicentre of terrorism. Mr Singh spitted venom against Pakistan in his speech to UN General Assembly and had hurled similar remarks earlier as well.
India did not give any positive signals for talks rather its response shows that no serious proposal for talks with Pakistan had any consideration with them. Hype created due to meeting between two prime ministers saw its anti climax even before the start of meeting. Soon after the meeting India again started the same old rhetoric demands of giving punishment to Mumbai attack culprits. More over due to upcoming Indian elections, time is also not right for making such proposals.
Neither TTP and other terrorist groups nor Indian government seems serious in conducting meaningfull and result oriented talks despite Pakistani government conceding too much too early to attract both for talks rather both are busy destabilising Pakistan. Even if talks are held with any of the two or both under prevalent environments outcome will not be very encouraging for Pakistan as both are claiming that they have an upper hand.
TAHIR MAHMOOD,
Lahore, October 7.