ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back G P D FROM a no-war pact to a friendship treaty is no small progress. India and Pakistan seem to have achieved it during their latest round of talks. Following the Agha Shahi visit to New Delhi from January 30 to February 2 it became clear that Indira Gandhi and Gen Zia were keen on putting Indo-Pakistan relations on a not-so-firm basis of "as little of mutual suspicion as possible". The exchange has taken the usual course. Going by the Indian Press coverage of the talks, it appeared as if Indo-Pakistan differences were irreconcilable and that the two countries' perceptions of the South Asian situation had no common points. Gradually the weather seemed to clear. Now it appears as if there were no differences worth the name between the two long- lost brothers. A panel has been created to go into and solve outstanding issues between India and Pakistan, The idea of a 'no-war pact' (author Gen Zia) has been replaced by the idea of a 'friendship treaty' (author Indira Gandhi). Discussions will continue. Drafts will be exchanged. Explanations will be sought. It is even possible that a document might be signed which might be called by a third and respectable non- aligned name.

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