Pak works out strategy to deal with new government

Pak works out strategy to deal with new government

Islamabad on Monday sought to caution the new government in New Delhi against setting any precondition for resumption of bilateral engagement between the two countries, stating that such an approach by the outgoing Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime had not worked.

Pakistan also called its envoy to India, Abdul Basit, to Islamabad for consultations to work out a strategy for dealing with Narendra Modi’s government.

“Peace is in our mutual interest and peace can be achieved only through peaceful process, that is, through dialogue. In the past, we have seen preconditions did not work, nor can they work in future,” Basit was quoted by PTI on Monday. 

He made the remarks in New Delhi before leaving for Islamabad for a meeting with top officials in Pakistan to work out its strategy to engage with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. He stressed on building on past achievements in bilateral dialogue and taking “irreversible steps forward”.

New Delhi in the past maintained that its engagements with Islamabad would result in meaningful progress, if the latter addressed its core concern on anti-India terrorism emanating from Pakistan, expediting the trial of the seven Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives in connection with the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, and restrain its armed forces from violating ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC).

Though outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh received several invitations from his successive counterparts in Islamabad to visit Pakistan during his 10-year-long tenure, he refrained from embarking on one, ostensibly because the two countries could not agree on the deliverables.

India ended the post-26/11 diplomatic chill with Pakistan in March 2011 and resumed the suspended structured dialogue.  The bilateral talks were, however, suspended again in January 2013, when Pakistan army personnel killed two Indian soldiers and beheaded one of them along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir in January 2013. Modi has been criticising the UPA government for its alleged soft policy on Pakistan. 

He, however, recently said that his government would follow a “balanced” foreign policy in which no one should be able to intimidate India and neither should India’s rise become a cause of concern for any country. 

The prime minister-designate also said that he would follow the foreign policies of the previous NDA regime under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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