While 70 people were killed on the Pakistani side, the number was close to 100 in India till the last reports came in. Did both New Delhi and Islamabad miss an opportunity in the crisis?
It was an opportunity to come closer
Definitely yes. If India and Pakistan are struggling to find a common link to establish peace and friendship in the region and stop the disruptive elements from setting their agenda, then the current floods were a perfect opportunity for both the countries.
Peace in South Asia: Too much dependent on politics and bureaucracy
A problem with peace in South Asia is that it ultimately depends on the governments of the day to take the process forward. But this reliance on the government which personifies politics and bureaucracy which reflects bottlenecks to give peace a chance disappoints us in most cases.
In every crisis, there is an opportunity and India, Pak perhaps missed the point
The quarters playing on the nerves of both countries at the borders know this very well and spoil the party whenever there is a Track 1 diplomatic initiative. Summits, ministerial meetings or secretary-level talks face frequent hindrances as resistance to the peace process surfaces frequently.
We make borders and borders unmake us
In this situation, giving friendship and subsequently peace a chance can be done through soft tactics of welfare measures. India and Pakistan readily lock horns over sharing of river waters but lack the enthusiasm to back each other when the same river water turns a common enemy. Both sides could have addressed the situation by taking a united stand against the floods for it is a threat to mankind and not to some artificial border.
PM Modi has spoken about a fight against common enemies, why Sharif can't reciprocate
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has time and again given a call for a joint fight against common foes like poverty. His Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif could have reciprocated by inviting a jont fight, even if temporary, against the floods. Neither Imran Khan nor the kashmiri separatists could have opposed the call for it they would have done so at their own peril.
But the idea situation didn't evolve. For politics doesn't allow statesmanship to emerge easily.