New Delhi, Dec 7: When it comes to talks between India and Pakistan, there are several sensitive issues that come up for discussion. Despite several differences, one could say it was a master stroke by the two countries to hold National Security Advisor level talks at Bangkok.
The benefit of holding talks at Bangkok rather than India or Pakistan only meant that the Kashmiri separatists were kept at bay and before they knew it the talks were held.
The separatists have been a problem in every Indo-Pak talks despite the level it has been conducted at.
India has been very clear that the Indo-Pak talks cannot involve the separatists. If one may recall the last time the NSA's had decided to meet, it was the separatist issue that derailed the talks and stood cancelled.
This time around the talks went ahead smoothly and while there is a long way to go before Indo-Pak tensions can thaw, it is still a good start.
Both countries have various important issues to discuss and it was good to see that Pakistan too realised that it was important to keep the separatist hurdle away. Had the talks been held in either India or Pakistan then the latter would have been under immense pressure to let the separatists have their say.
The separatists are part of the Pakistan policy on Kashmir and they would have found it very difficult to keep them at bay. Hence the meeting at a neutral venue was nothing short of a master stroke
The narrative is back on track
There have been allegations that the Narendra Modi government is not in favour of peace with Pakistan. However experts say that this is a fiction of imagination that has been created by the Pakistan press. Modi had in fact invited Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his swearing in ceremony and this was only to indicate that the government was in favour of peace.
The meeting at Bangkok does change that perception to a large extent. Both countries did show that despite so much tension, they were ready to set aside the differences and make a start. It appears both nations were ready to sit across the table and talk.
Experts would say that it was a well strategised meeting between the two countries. In fact the talks were over before any realised that it had even begun. Both countries agreed in principle that while there are contentious issues such as terror and Kashmir on the agenda, it was more important to make a start.
In order to make that start there were two issues that had to be taken care of. First the separatists who are paid to shout and secondly the over analysing and provoking media which before any Indo-Pak talks feels it important to air the opinions of the separatists which always derailed the peace process.