New Delhi, June 22: The phones have gone silent and what looked like a promising start turned out to be a damp squib. Following the visit by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to Pakistan, there was a lot of promise where the ties between the two countries were concerned.
The National Security Advisor (NSA) of India Ajit Doval engaged heavily with his Pakistan counterpart Nasir Khan Januja and just when things were looking up, the Pathankot attack took place.
The calls between the two NSAs did not stop and India hoped that it could still get Pakistan to act. However the last straw for India was the Khulbhushan Jhadhav episode in which Pakistan said that this Indian spy was being handled by Doval.
Army still the boss:
Despite the attack at Pathankot, the advise by Doval was calling off talks is never a good option and Pakistan must be engaged. Terror attacks and baseless allegations emanate out of Pakistan only with one single intention and that is to derail the peace process.
During the talks with Jung, Doval emphasised on the need to take action against the Pathankot attackers. Januja at first did show some amount of promise and it did appear that Pakistan was acting. However for Januja the other problem was his loyalty to the army chief General Raheel Sharrif who pretty much calls the shots in Pakistan.
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For Pakistan it had become increasingly difficult to act against the Jaish-e-Mohammad and its boss Maulana Masood Azhar. While the narrative in the Pakistan media began changing about the evidence India had shared on the other hand Pakistan constantly raised the Kashmir bogey knowing fully well that it could be fatal to the talks. Even a meeting between the foreign secretaries of the two countries yielded no result.
Pakistan was systematically doing all it could to derail the talks while India on the other hand wanted to keep them engaged.
However for India the last straw the Kulbhushan Jhadhav episode. Pakistan arrested him and claimed that he was India's spy at Baluchistan. When India sought more details, Pakistan refused to share it. Instead they went on to term Doval as one of his handlers.
India took a very serious view of these. It was clearly a ploy by Pakistan to anger India and ensure that the talks do not take place. The problem for Pakistan is that when India talks it demands action an this puts them in an extremely uncomfortable position.