Govt unlikely to offer olive branch to Pakistan

NEW DELHI: Despite Jammu & Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti’s call for talks with Pakistan to break the cycle of violence in the state, the Centre feels engagement may actually release mounting international pressure, led by the US, on Islamabad over its refusal to check terrorism.
Government sources said Mehbooba’s pitch for renewed dialogue with Islamabad comes as no surprise as she has consistently maintained that the Kashmir problem cannot be resolved without involving Pakistan. She may also need to cater to her electoral audience.

While the CM’s political overtones seem clear enough, the Modi government is unlikely to ignore the fact that ceasefire violations by Pakistani forces touched a record high of 771 in 2017 until December 10, the rise in infiltration and a spate of attacks by terrorists pushed in from Pakistan.

“The atmosphere is clearly adverse for any peace effort,” said an officer in the security establishment. The officer said any…

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