Dargah diplomacy: promises and perils

by Virendra Parekh

India is going through one of its periodic bouts of exuberance over prospects of better ties with Pakistan. Islamabad’s recent willingness to liberalise bilateral trade between the two countries has met with enthusiastic response from the Indian side. While good relations with a neighbour is a highly desirable objective, what should worry us is that powerful sections of the Indian establishment, including the current Prime Minister and the dominant English-language media, are more than willing to go overboard to befriend Pakistan, throwing national interests to the wind. This is what is happening now.

Pakistanis claim that this time, everybody (add, including Army) is on board in the move to improve relations with India. This makes eminent sense. Even the most hardnosed Pakistani policy makers realise that their country is spectacularly isolated. With Afghanistan on boil, relations with US on ice and fair weather friends turning their backs, Pakistan has discovered the benefits of dealing with the enemy that knows you well.

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