‘Long stage diplomacy the only way to improve India-Pakistan relations’

Kolkata, Jan 6 (IANS) Long stage or indirect diplomacy is the only way to improve the sharply deteriorating relationship between India and Pakistan, a senior academician said here on Friday.

“In my view, the only option that can improve the ongoing adversity between the two countries is long stage diplomacy and backchannel diplomacy to work out ways in which the Line of Control becomes more porous and the goods and traffic becomes more open on both sides,” Aswini K. Ray, a professor of political studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, told reporters during a lecture on India-Pakistan relationship in Jadavpur University.

“This would benefit both the countries and give peace to the Kashmiri people,” Ray said.

The professor claimed that the drastic steps by the Indian government of late, like the ‘surgical strike’ by the Indian army after the Pathankot terror attack, is only giving Pakistan a chance to spew venom against India.

“It is foolish to annoy a country with nuclear power whose democratic institutions are inadequate and weak. A country where the military and the industrialists are the intelligence apparatus, we are giving an alibi of being an aggressive adversary through our actions.

“The impact of the surgical strike by the Indian army after the Pathankot attack is much worse and has caused a resurgence of activism in India’s military establishment,” he said.

About the long-lasting dispute between India and Pakistan on Kashmir issue, he said there is no way that the impasse would be deprioritised by either country any time soon.

“Whatever be our problem with Kashmir, after 67 years of dispute and three open wars, there is no way that the Kashmir issue can be compromised in India. There is so much at stake both politically and historically that it would continue to be the top agenda.

“Similarly there is no way that the Kashmir issue can be brought into a lower order of priority in Pakistan,” he added.