A week in India-Pak relations

Imran Khan’s election as prime minister of Pakistan raised hopes of a fresh turn in India-Pakistan relations. Last week, this hope appeared to have been realised after Khan made an offer of talks with India, which the latter accepted. However, it all evaporated in less than a day after Pakistan Rangers killed an Indian BSF jawan and India was convinced that the new Pakistan leader was being dictated to by his country’s powerful generals
Imran writes to PM

September 19: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan writes to Narendra Modi seeking resumption of dialogue.

“Pakistan remains ready to discuss terrorism... I wish to propose a meeting between Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj before the informal meeting of the SAARC Foreign Ministers at the sidelines of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly in New York. They can explore the way forward, especially the holding of the SAARC Council of Ministers followed by the SAARC Summit in Islamabad. The summit will offer an opportunity for you to visit Pakistan and for us to restart the stalled dialogue process,” said Imran Khan in the letter.

Indian response

September 20: India responds, agreeing to the meeting between the two foreign ministers on the sidelines of UNGA in New York later this month. However, India clarified that “it is a meeting not resumption of dialogue.”

“Let’s distinguish between meeting and dialogue. This doesn’t change our stand on terrorism”: MEA spokesperson

Meeting cancelled

September 21: India cancels the meeting citing killing of security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the recent release of a series of a 20 postage stamps by the neighbour “glorifying a terrorist and terrorism”.

It's obvious that behind Pakistan's proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed & true face of new Prime Minister of Pakistan has been revealed to world in his first few months in the office: MEA spokesperson said, attacking Imran Khan.

Imran’s crass reaction

September 22: Imran Khan responds by attacking Prime Minister Modi in a blunt and undiplomatic manner.

“Disappointed at the arrogant & negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue. However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture,” said Imran Khan.

Army chief’s warning

September 22: Indian army chief general Bipin Rawat warns Pakistan.

“We need to take stern action to avenge the barbarism that terrorists and Pakistan Army have been carrying out. Yes, it’s time to give it back to them in same coin…not restoring to similar kind of barbarism. But I think the other side must also feel the same pain,” said Rawat, responding to the mutilation of a BSF jawan’s body by Pakistan Rangers and killing of Special Police Officers (SPOs) in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pak general talks war

September 23: Pakistan army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor says: “We are always ready and prepared for war. War happens when either side is unprepared for it.”

India and Pakistan have fought wars and remained at loggerheads mostly but the diplomatic discourse crossed threshold of decency.

“IFS does not draft such election oriented statements or take such hasty flip flop decisions. Seems handiwork of 'muscular' thinking. More 'brawn' than 'brain'!” tweeted India’s former high commissioner to Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal.

Imran Khan’s personal attack on Prime Minister was widely condemned in India.

In 2013, controversy broke after then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reportedly described Manmohan Singh as “dehati aurat” (village woman).