The escalation of India Pakistan relations in the last 32 hours has had everyone on edge.

There has been another development following a crossfire of disturbing diplomatic exchanges between both the civil governments and the armed forces of both countries. This time, however, it gives Pakistan a good edge. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said in an interview to Hindustan Times on Saturday that Pakistani will keep the Kartarpur border open visa-free to Sikh pilgrims crossing to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. Chaudhry further added that while India’s decision to cancel the meeting — which was to be held between both countries’ foreign ministers on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly — was “unfortunate”, citizens should not be made to suffer.

This is quite a welcome and positive step by the Pakistan government to keep the focus on maintaining peace. The comments made by the Indian army chief were rattling for an already precarious state of affairs following New Delhi’s withdrawal from the peace talks.

This initiative to at least show that there is no ill will towards common people on the other side is something that acts as a model for emulation by the Pakistani citizens. We need to be careful of our jingoistic sentiments at this time. New-Delhi’s threatening posture should not mean that we enable any war glorfiers to take force within the civil population. That only destabilizes Pakistan, and also breeds ground for partisan politics. If PTI initiated peace, that should be a welcome change. PML-N and PPP blaming PTI for showing ‘weakness’ only adds fuel to fire in cross-border relations. Our strength lies in showing a united front.

The Indian media, in particular, has expressed distaste towards India’s unstable policy towards Pakistan.

The Hindu noted that while the government is well within its right to cancel, the reasons for cancellation are far from satisfactory. The First Post, although in favor of the cancellation called out the erraticness of India’s moves and to that end called the situation an ‘ ineffective headless chicken policy’. So even though they might be in favor of cancellation, even Indians are observing that the exchanges are erratic and need to be curbed.

In the wake of all this mess and with the favorable policy for Indian Sikh pilgrims is it safe to say that: Pakistan-1, India-0?


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