No thaw in sight for India-Pak relations despite Kartarpur opening

No thaw in sight for India-Pak relations despite Kartarpur opening

New Delhi: The opening of the Kartarpur corridor that was based entirely on cultural and religious issues would not change India’s stance on the resumption of peace talks with Pakistan, sources have confirmed.

The agreement to open the Kartarpur corridor was widely viewed as a major stride towards the resumption of a dialogue between the two neighboring countries. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had reached out to Prime Minister Imran Khan for peace talks before he assumed the office of the Pakistan Prime Minister in August. However, sources said that the talks could not move forward owing to Khan’s inability to curb terror from his country.

Speaking more on India’s diplomatic relations with Pakistan, sources have also confirmed ANI that according to India, Pakistan has not done any favor by releasing Indian national Hamid Ansari, who went to Pakistan to meet a woman whom he had befriended through social media. India believes that Ansari has returned to India after completing a prison sentence of three years in a Pakistani jail.

However, with regards to the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, India is not very optimistic and it is a matter of concern, sources further said. India has rubbished all allegations and claims by Pakistan that Jadhav, arrested from Balochistan, was allegedly involved in espionage and subversive activities for India’s intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Sources also noted that Indian diplomats based in Islamabad are unprecedently harassed in Pakistan on multiple counts. Furthermore, guests visiting diplomats are also facing a volley of hostile questions allegedly by Pakistan’s secret service agents. Surveillance has also increased, as diplomats are being followed bumper to bumper, according to sources.

Speaking on India’s diplomatic relations with the Maldives, sources have confirmed that India has not sought the establishment of a military base in the Maldives in exchange for the USD 1.4 billion financial aid.

Earlier, media reports claimed that India wanted to open a military base in the Maldives following the aid granted to the island nation during President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s maiden visit here earlier this month. However, sources close to the developments quashed the rumors, claiming that India has made no such request, adding that India has provided financial aid and there is no quid pro quo.

Forging stronger relations with the East, sources further informed that India will soon be negotiating a logistics sharing deal with Japan that would allow the armed forces of both the countries to share each other’s military facilities. The logistics pact called the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), is expected to enhance the strategic depth of bilateral security and defense cooperation between the two countries.

The deal, seen as a way to counter China’s expanding presence in the Indian Ocean, will also allow both India and Japan to have access to their respective ports and bases.

Meanwhile, according to sources, India has also urged China to adhere to established mechanisms overbuilding infrastructure across the Indo-China border. Sources said India-China border mechanisms are working in an efficient manner, with border meetings and flag meetings taking place normally. India and China have been trying to address the boundary question through various mechanisms, with the Special Representative mechanism being the highest level.

In addition to this, India also expects China to “walk the talk” on addressing trade imbalance and allowing import of agricultural products and IT services from India, the sources added.

Sources also informed ANI that India is not ready to sign an agreement with the United Kingdom (UK) on the deportation of illegal immigrants as the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) does not facilitate the extradition of fugitive economic offenders, including Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi.

Sources also told that the decision regarding the grant of consular access to the British High Commission for Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland scam, has not been taken yet.