Srinagar: A major Indo-Pak Track II initiative, in the absence of any formal dialogue, is likely to be the first casualty of the Pulwama militant attack which left 49 CRPF personnel dead.
The government has put on hold the proposal which was meant to promote people-to-people contact between the two countries, Times of India reported.
Quoting official sources, the report said the initiative was going to be the first of its kind in the recent past as it sought to officially promote exchanges between the youth of India and Pakistan.
“The idea behind involving youth was that that they don’t carry much historical baggage and are probably more peace and development oriented. It will have to wait now,” said a diplomatic source on the condition of anonymity. An Islamabad based think-tank was to host a delegation from India on March 7-8 to launch the dialogue, officially called Track II, after approval from MEA and Pakistan’s MoFA.
The government though does not want to have even a modicum of dialogue with Pakistan given the latter’s denial of any role in the Pulwama attack. India has been engaged with Pakistan over the issue of prisoners and religious tourism, including the proposal to open a corridor to Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan for Sikh pilgrims.
While there is no decision yet on delaying, or jettisoning altogether, the Kartarpur project, government officials haven’t ruled out the possibility of postponing the March 14 meeting with Pakistan officials. The meeting is meant to finalise the modalities for the opening of the corridor, TOI reported.