A team of Pakistani investigators will visit India soon, in what can be described as a history-making move. The attack in the Indian air-force base in Pathankot back in January this year had threatened to derail peace talks between the two nuclear armed states. There was a series of allegations from India after the attack blaming the attack on Pakistan. Credit goes to not only the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi but also to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for not letting terrorist elements disrupt relations between the two countries. In the aftermath of the attack, both governments acted in a reasonable manner and kept all channels of communications open. However having said that it is also pertinent to mention that since the attacks the comprehensive bilateral dialogue both countries so boldly agreed to late last year has all but stalled. The process of bilateral dialogue must be resumed and talk must be conducted on all outstanding issues including that of the vitally important Kashmir issue. For talks to resume between the two countries, the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan must meet to determine a schedule for meetings of the various dialogue sub-groups and determine how a first round of talks will move ahead.
The Indian government must realize that talks should not hinge on a single matter like the Pathankot attack. If they make this a pre-condition, they are basically fulfilling the wishes of the terrorist elements that do not want the two countries to sit on the dialogue table. In fact if anything if the Indian government and the Pakistan government join hands they’ll be better able to counter the threat posed by terrorism to both countries.
Talks between India-Pakistan should not hinge on any preconditions.