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Former Indian foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh is of the view that the relations between the two Koreas are not comparable with the ties between India and Pakistan. Photo: AFP
Former Indian foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh is of the view that the relations between the two Koreas are not comparable with the ties between India and Pakistan. Photo: AFP

Will India, Pakistan take a lesson from the Korean summit?

Questions about a possible India-Pakistan detente, prompted by the Korean thaw, also come as India has set in motion steps for a course correction in ties with some of its neighbours like Nepal and China

New Delhi: A rare summit between North and South Korea last week that has led to hopes of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and an official end to the Korean war has triggered questions on whether South Asian rivals India and Pakistan can a take a lesson from there and take steps towards peace.

Questions about a possible India-Pakistan detente, prompted by the Korean thaw, also come as India has set in motion steps for a “course correction" in ties with some of its neighbours like Nepal and China. Added to this were news reports which said that the two countries were engaged in “Track 2" semi official backchannel talks.

In an article in The Indian Express on Tuesday, C. Raja Mohan, director of the New Delhi-based Carnegie India think tank, posed the question: “Is there something Delhi and Islamabad can learn from the unfolding prospects for a major transformation in the relations between Seoul and Pyongyang?" but concluded with the assumption that rivalry in South Asia was likely to “endure."

According to former Pakistan high commissioner to India, Aziz Ahmed Khan, India and Pakistan should take lessons from the Korea thaw. “Pakistan has been calling for talks, it is India which is reluctant to come to the talks’ table," he said.

When asked about India’s demand that Pakistan end terrorism before dialogue is resumed, Khan characterized it as “setting preconditions" which he said would never work. “Terrorism is a subject for discussion under the dialogue process so why not discuss it within the dialogue ambit?" he said.

Former Indian foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh is of the view that the relations between the two Koreas are not comparable with the ties between India and Pakistan.

“We have diplomatic representation in each other’s countries, we have had dialogue with Pakistan," he said. “The situation right now is that I think India thinks that dialogue with the civilian government is going nowhere. Maybe a direct line to the military which is the arbiter of ties with India, would help."

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