The Great Debate (India)
By C. Uday Bhaskar
(C. Uday Bhaskar is a New Delhi-based strategic analyst. The views expressed in the column are his own)
The joint statement issued by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt on the sidelines of the NAM Summit has generated considerable comment in both countries and is being interpreted across a wide bandwidth that ranges from outright condemnation to cautious cheer.
India and Pakistan are now back to formal engagement — albeit in a brittle manner with many caveats after the composite dialogue, that goes back to January 2004, had been put on freeze by India after the Mumbai terrorist attack of November 2008.
It is instructive that this modest breakthrough came on the eve of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit, which marks the first high-level political contact between the Obama administration and the UPA government after it was voted back to power.