India-Pakistan revive Track-II diplomacy, delegation visits Islamabad for talks

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India May 01, 2018, 04.13 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

India has restarted its Track-II diplomacy — the Neemrana Dialogue — with Pakistan. 

News reports said Tuesday than an Indian delegation visited Pakistan from April 28 to 30. 

The Indian delegation was led by former MEA secretary and Pakistan expert Vivek Katju. Former NCERT chief JS Rajput was also part of the delegation. 

The Pakistani side was represented by former foreign secretary Inam ul Haque and Ishrat Hussain, former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan. 

The Indian news reports added that the initiative, to hold the dialogue again, was this time taken by Islamabad. 

The Neemrana Dialogue is a non-government inititiative — they are not government-to-government talks — and has been around for at least two decades. 

The idea of Track-II diplomacy is to at least get the people of two countries talking, even if their governments will not. 

What is different about the Neemrana Dialogue however is that the foreign ministries of both India and Pakistan have in the past got involved with it. 

There has however been very little dialogue of late between India and Pakistan, especially after the September 2016 terror attack on an army camp in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, in which 19 Indian soldiers died.  

India blames the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Taiba for the attack. 

The current NDA government led by Prime Minister Modi believes in being "tough" on Pakistan. But the restarting of the Neemrana Dialogue seems to indicate the government may now think that approach has run its course.