To repeat the same action and expect different results is madness. Madness; perhaps the most fitting term to describe the recent ‘activities’ along the Line of Control (LoC) and the policies of the two neighbours with regards to each other since their inception 66 years ago. Following allegations of infiltrating terrorists across the LoC and aiding militants in the valley by his Indian counterpart, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, responded by disregarding the accusations as “unfortunate, unfounded and provocative”.  This back-and-forth, the rise in the tempers of the two nations which usually follows and the timely resurfacing of the ‘defenders of the cause’ who only and always add fuel to the fire is well-known. Nuclear powers, armed to their teeth and shackled by geography, the failure of both states to resist capitulation to radical lobbies at home is regrettable.  

The 29th September meeting in New York between the Premiers sought to usher the usually hostile Indo-Pak relationship into a new era. To address the issue of LoC skirmishes, it was agreed that a meeting of the Director General Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two countries would take place. If the maintenance of peace at the borders is the designated nuisance in the way of necessary bilateral dialogue, then it would be wise for Delhi to answer affirmatively to the request, and let DGMOs sort matters instead of irresponsibly hurling accusations on media. Pakistan’s proposition of holding a joint or UN-led investigation to ascertain facts from myths surrounding recent events at the LoC should be sincerely considered by India.

Civilised countries do not insist on following policies which have repeatedly proven to be counter-productive. They learn from their mistakes, not brush them under the carpet. The prime focus remains the welfare of the people. The condition of the populace on both sides of the borders is testament to the failure of their governments. Sixty-six years later, the populace is uneducated, unemployed and deprived of basic human needs and rights. They have manufactured bombs and guns, and fed lies and propaganda to their starving masses. Years of indoctrination of the state-sponsored ideology of hate has shaped minds to treat any possibility of an improved relationship with skepticism or outright rejection. But still, remote as it may be, a possibility does exist. However, if the future is to be any better than the past, there is a need to exercise restraint and act responsibly, and get on with the process that has given in too many times to incendiary rhetoric.