India Pakistan Relations: Two Questions on the Way Forward – Part I

Generation Why: South Asian Voices, Stimson Center, May 29, 2014

Arun Vishwanathan, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies


There has been a buzz surrounding India-Pakistan relations in recent weeks. The decision of the Narendra Modi government to invite all heads of governments of all SAARC countries and Mauritius to the swearing-in ceremony was seen by many as a positive step. It was as if the incoming Prime Minister had read the words “All the world’s a stage,” in Shakespeare’s As You Like It and had taken it to heart. Many in India felt that by extending the invitation, India had seized the initiative rather than responding to an existing situation, crisis. 

While I was following these developments, two questions kept coming back to my mind. First, Why should India continue to engage Pakistan and what does it seek to gain from such an engagement. Second, who should India engage with in Pakistan?

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