Islamabad: Backchannel talks between Pakistan and India have met a dead end as both sides have struggled to agree on the moves that may pave the way for slow but gradual improvement in the relationship, a media report said citing an informed source.
“Talks have been going on but have reached a point where things aren’t moving anywhere,” The Express Tribune report quoted the source as saying.
There has been a desire from both sides to break the impasse but the issue is how to move forward from this point onwards, the source explained.
What has slowed down the process was the political uncertainty in Pakistan, The Express Tribune reported.
There was a glimmer of hope for a possible thaw in the relationship following the change of government in Pakistan in April.
What spurred the optimism was that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first leaders to congratulate his Pakistani counterpart Shehbaz Sharif when the latter assumed office in April.
The source said backchannel contacts that began during the PTI government’s tenure picked up pace in April after the change of government.
But despite “intense” backchannel diplomacy, the two sides were not willing to concede an inch on their respective issues.
Pakistan is keen that India must take steps with regards to Kashmir before any process of normalisation of ties begins. New Delhi, however, is more interested in Islamabad first exploring the option of resuming bilateral trade, The Express Tribune quoted the source as saying further.
The friction in the relationship prevented Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers from interacting with each other at the recent meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Tashkent.