Speculation swirl on likely meeting between India, Pakistan PMs

Amid speculation about a possible meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Kathmandu, Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has said that Islamabad desires peace with New Delhi and underlined that the two neighbours can resolve their disputes through dialogue and negotiations.

“Pakistan desires peace with India but its desire should not be taken as its weakness,” Asif said in Islamabad. Mr Asif stressed that soon after assuming office, Mr Sharif had expressed his desire for peace with India and has repeated his intention to build bridges with India many a time in the last few months. “This desire has been misconceived by the other side,” he said.
n Kathmandu, speculation continued to swirl about a meeting between Mr Modi and Mr Sharif on the sidelines of the SAARC summit, with both sides maintaining studied ambivalence on the issue. Both Mr Modi and Mr Sharif arrived in Kathmandu November 25 for the 18th SAARC summit, but there is no indication yet whether they will meet to defrost tensions and map the way forward for the troubled India-Pakistan relations that have plunged to a new look following unrelenting firing by border troops and Pakistan’s determined diplomatic offensive to internationalise the Kashmir issue.

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India says it has terror deterrence, asks region to benefit from India growth story

Projecting India’s growth story as a binding economic force for the region, India has said that it would like to resolve all issues through dialogue with Pakistan, but has underlined that it will have an effective deterrence to deal with terrorism.

“We would like to resolve our problems through negotiations, through talks. I don’t think of any problem that cannot be resolved through negotiations,” National Security Adviser Ajit Doval said at the Munich Security Conference, organised by the Delhi-headquartered think tank ORF, in New Delhi.

“But on the other hand, India would like to have an effective deterrence to deal with terrorism,” Mr Doval said against the backdrop of escalating tensions over recent ceasefire violation by Pakistan.

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Pakistan’s Dangerous Game of Brinkmanship

Insecure Pakistan in the backdrop of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is faced with the twin dilemma of international marginalization as part of fast receding regional relevance and political and economic instability. These fears are heightened by India’s rapidly developing economy, political stability and fast paced modernization of its armed forces. For Pakistani fed on the belief, as Christian Fair puts it ‘accepting the status quo with India is a defeat’, such a scenario is an anathema that it is loathe to accept. This ideological perspective remains the driver that is forcing the Pakistani army in taking calculated military risks as a manifestation of its continued struggle which it must continue and persevere. According to Fair this behaviour of Pakistan is a result of it being fundamentally a dissatisfied state which seeks to increase its prestige through spread of its ideology and religion in pursuit of its revisionist policies.

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India-Pakistan border tensions: PM Modi gives ‘full hand’, says everything will be fine

Amid the most intense cross-border firing between India and Pakistan in a decade, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reported to have given security forces a “free hand” in dealing with Pakistani troops, and assured that “everything will be fine soon.”
Nine Pakistani and eight Indian civilians have been slaughtered since fighting erupted more than week ago in the worst case of ceasefire violations since 2003. The two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours have accused each other of targeting civilians and unprovoked violations of the 11-year-old ceasefire agreement.
The mood has turned sour and belligerent on both sides. India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh has asked the Border Security Force to return Pakistan’s firing with full force.
Mr Modi, who surprised many by inviting Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, along with other leaders of the South Asian countries at his swearing-in ceremony in May, said in Kashmir cryptically: “Everything will be fine.” His statement seemed to indicate that India will retaliate with full vigour even as Pakistan raised the issue at the UN.

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Serious about talks with Pakistan, but sans terror shadow: Modi

Putting the ball in Islamabad’s court, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underlined that that he wants to hold bilateral talks with Pakistan, only “without a shadow of terrorism,” and provided the latter creates the right atmosphere for it. In his maiden address to the 69th session of the ongoing UN General Assembly on a radiant sunny day in New York, , Mr Modi outlined his foreign policy on India’s neighbourhood, and signalled in a statesman-like manner that he wants to engage with Pakistan with all seriousness
The Indian leader’s comments came a day after Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif voiced frustration over stalled talks over Kashmir and more than a month after India cancelled foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan by registering strong objections to the Pakistani envoy’s meeting with Kashmiri separatist leaders.

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India to Pakistan: Stop denials, terrorism remains a core concern

Denials and equivocations don’t alter hard facts on the ground. And the fact is that terror remains “a core concern” of India in its relations with Pakistan.

In a hard-hitting response to Pakistan’s repudiation of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s contention that Islamabad was engaging in a proxy war of terrorism, New Delhi sharply reminded Islamabad that “mere denials of selective approaches towards terrorism are not going to drive away its concerns.”

In a forceful assertion, New Delhi underlined that India will use all means available to deal with cross-border terror.

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