Talks and terrorism do not go together

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif while giving an interview to the Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV made a bold statement, claiming that Pakistan has learned its lesson after three wars with India, and stressed that now it wants peace with its neighbour. Sharif also called for “serious and sincere talks” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on “burning points like Kashmir.” It is difficult to assume under which circumstances he made this statement. But coming from the prime minister of a hostile neighbour, it is a massive statement.

Pakistan was partitioned out of India in 1947. Since then, the two countries have fought three bitter wars. The tension continues to boil along the Indo-Pak border. India has refused to engage in any kind of talks with Pakistan, accusing it of supporting Kashmiri terrorists. The Pakistan PM’s statement that the country has learned a lesson from its war with India is a positive one. Indeed, war has been more destructive for Pakistan than for India. Pakistan is a very poor country and its economy is in terrible shape. India has been doing better but poverty is the main challenge for both the countries. Instead of fighting against each other, they should engage in peaceful dialogue and work for the development of the two countries. Sharif has called for dialogue with PM Modi. But for this, Pakistan also needs to create an atmosphere of peace and trust. Talk and terrorism cannot go together.  Their action against terror groups operating from the country will determine the future of peace talks.