One striking feature of the shift in the Pakistani attitude toward India in the recent years is the ‘bipartisan consensus’ in that country over the imperative need for improving relations with India. The statement by the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif welcoming President Asif Zardari’s visit to India on Sunday underscores this amazing political reality. Sharif called the visit “a step in the right direction.” My mind went back to a not-too-distant past when the two mainstream political parties were locked in a zero-sum game over Pakistan’s relations with India. How much the India-Pakistan narrative has changed!
The Pakistani discourse will increasingly make the hardliners in our country look moronic. I took part in a TV programme on the talks in Delhi on Sunday, and it turned out to be a comical experience. I wouldn’t be allowed to speak lest I probably rubbished what passes for informed discourse in our country regarding relations with Pakistan. The bewilderment is understandable — like when the train pulled out of the station and you’re left behind on the platform staring at its rear end. Watch the u-tube – Part 1 and Part 2.
– April 10, 2012