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    Indian commandos overlook the air force base in Pathankot on January 5, 2016

    Sub-Continental Divide: India-Pakistan Relations Return to Square One

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    India – Pakistan relations are on a topsy-turvy path again: despite Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diplomatic efforts to mend ties, things are not going in the right direction.

    The initial seriousness shown by the Pakistani establishment to punish the masterminds of the 2016 terror attack on India's Pathankot Air Force Station now seems to be waning.

    The visit of Pakistan's Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the Pathankot terror attack was an excellent gesture on the part of Islamabad. During their visit to India, their hosts provided ample support to the JIT and it was agreed that India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) will visit Pakistan as part of a further probe into the Pathankot terror attack. But after the JIT returned home, Pakistan's position changed, as the JIT rejected India's claim that terrorists had come from Pakistan to carry out the terror attack.

    Additionally, Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit commented that the Indo-Pakistan talks have been suspended, adding fuel to the fire.

    Now Indian opposition parties have started criticizing Modi’s diplomatic parleys with Pakistan and are raising questions about the efficacy of the visit of Pakistan's JIT.

    “India started talks with Pakistan without any preparation and without consulting other parties. Most importantly, why we allowed Pakistan's JIT to visit Pathankot; instead NIA should have visited Pakistan first. Due to Modi’s ill-planned Pakistan policy, we have lost the strategic advantage over Pakistan that we had earlier. These incidents have tarnished India’s image internationally,” Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh told Sputnik.

    While defending his party’s stand on Pakistan, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party Spokesperson Shrikant Sharma told Sputnik “These all are media reports, we are waiting for the official communication from the Pakistani government after the successful visit of the JIT.”

    Analysts are also not particularly optimistic about the normalization of India-Pakistan relations happening any time soon. Major General (Rtd) Afsir Karim told Sputnik in an exclusive interview that “there is a total breakdown in the relationship. We are not on the same page. Our focus in on terrorism and we want to talk mainly about terrorism but their focus is Kashmir and not terrorism. This is the reason they are saying that talks have been suspended. The peace process between India and Pakistan is on paper only, while on the ground Pakistan is promoting terrorism. It is not a new thing for Pakistan, in fact we were expecting the same.”

    The fact is that apart from the government, the army is another power center in Pakistan. As far as the country's relations with India are concerned, it's a known fact that the Pakistani army is against a thaw in India-Pakistan relations. It appears that Pakistan's army is also trying hard to derail the peace process between the two.

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    Tags:
    terror attack, Joint Investigation Team (JIT), Narendra Modi, India, Pakistan
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