A leading Pakistani daily said on Thursday that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi should pause and reflect on what New Delhi hopes to achieve by repeatedly rejecting Islamabad’s calls for peace.
“(Indian) Prime Minister Modi and his government should pause and reflect on what it is they hope to achieve by repeatedly slapping back a hand offered in peace,” said Dawn in an editorial.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tried to reach out to India at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor on Wednesday, saying “there have been mistakes on both sides… It should be used to learn lessons”.
The event was attended by Indian Ministers Harsmirat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Puri besides Congress Punjab legislator Navjot Singh Sidhu, a long-time friend of Khan.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who did not attend the ceremony to develop the Kartarpur Corridor to link Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur in India with Kartarpur Gurdwara, on Wednesday ruled ruled out any dialogue with Pakistan, saying talks and terror cannot go together.
The Dawn said: “Unhappily, the Indian government rushed to smother the goodwill generated by the inauguration of the corridor, and once again doused hopes that bilateral dialogue may be restarted soon.
“Sushma Swaraj’s extraordinary comments leave no doubt that the hawks in the Indian ruling party and establishment continue to control Indian policy towards Pakistan.
“What is less clear is what Sushma Swaraj is hoping to achieve with her fierce rhetoric against Pakistan,” the editorial said.
“Perhaps the Indian Foreign Minister wanted to counter the joyous scenes from Narowal district that would otherwise have dominated the news cycle in both countries.”
According to Dawn, Sushma Swaraj’s dismissal of bilateral dialogue “is a roundabout way of saying there will be no dialogue at all in any circumstances”.
“Indian intransigence and bloody-mindedness risks the possibility of hawks in Pakistan demanding a response to India,” it said, adding that there was no plausible scenario in which not talking to Pakistan will address the issues on both sides.