Foreign mediation.

THE proposal that foreign intermediaries can help bridge the trust gap in South Asia is not new, and in the absence of any substantial bilateral contacts such intervention can indeed prove helpful - if both parties (Pakistan and India) are willing to accept it. In this context, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif made the suggestion that the UAE can use its good offices to help enable a Pakistan-India dialogue on Kashmir while talking to Saudi outlet Al Arabiya. However, on Tuesday, the PM appeared to take a U-turn when the PMO clarified that talks with India can only take place after New Delhi reverses its illegal action of August 2019 with reference to held Kashmir. Perhaps the clarification came after powerful quarters in Pakistan gave the premier their feedback on his suggestion. The U-turn notwithstanding, in his media interaction, Mr Sharif had made the offer to his Indian counterpart to 'sit down at the table and have serious ... talks to resolve ... Kashmir', observing that while abuses were taking place in the occupied territory, only engagement could help bring peace to the region.

Where foreign facilitation in talks is concerned, while Pakistan has always been game, India has put up a rigid front, rejecting international involvement in its 'internal' matters, even though Kashmir remains a...

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