“There have been other Track II initiatives but these were mostly funded by third parties. Neemrana had more India-Pakistan character,” said former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan T C A Raghavan
Srinagar: The government of Narendra Modi is reluctant to engage with Pakistan officially but recently “agreed to reviving the Track II” diplomacy process with Islamabad’, the Times of India reported Tuesday.
“The original Track II initiative, Neemrana Dialogue, received a fresh start with a high-powered delegation of former Indian diplomats, military veterans and academics travelling to Pakistan to discuss ways to improve India-Pak relationship,” the newspaper reported.
The Indian delegation was headed by former external affairs secretary and Pakistan expert Vivek Katju. J S Rajput, former NCERT head, was also part of the delegation. The talks took place from April 28 to 30. Pakistan was represented by former foreign secretary Inam ul Haque and Ishrat Hussain among others.
“Neemrana is also a non-governmental dialogue but it is different from others in that both foreign ministries have in the past associated themselves with it,” the report added.
Quoting sources, the report said India will wait to see the outcome of the upcoming elections in Pakistan before taking any call on official talks with Islamabad. “To many though the revival of Neemrana would suggest that the policy of not having any engagement with Pakistan has run its course.”
“There have been other Track II initiatives but these were mostly funded by third parties. Neemrana had more India-Pakistan character,” said former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan T C A Raghavan.
Former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal, who is a member of the ‘Neemrana group’, chose not to visit Pakistan for the dialogue. He, however, said that ‘Neemrana’ was an important initiative which had even survived some very difficult times in the relationship.
“Neemrana has had a tough time over the past few years. Both sides felt though that it was important to keep alive that tradition but I didn’t go because I don’t think it would yield significant results in the current circumstances,” said Sibal.