Premier Imran Khan believes that his celebrity status and popularity in the subcontinent and beyond will ensure that any other leaders (and countries) are simply waiting with baited breaths for any policy decision he makes and will automatically accept his offers.
During his electoral campaign, Khan repeatedly denigrated Nawaz Sharif’s attempts to build ties with India, referring to Sharif as ‘Modi ka yaar.’ Now that he is in power, Khan realizes what every Premier does that you need better ties with your neighbors.
Three weeks after his electoral victory and a few weeks after the congratulatory letter that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent Khan, Imran Khan sent a letter on September 14 requesting a restart of a dialogue between the two countries through an initial meeting of the two foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) meetings in NYC next week.
In response, Delhi accepted what it referred to as “talks not dialogue” with a meeting between Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The killing of three special police officers in Srinagar in Indian-controlled Kashmir by the terror group Hizbul Mujahideen following the brutal torture and killing of an Indian border (BSF) guard and the issuing of stamps celebrating the Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani led to political backlash within India and resulted in the Indian government cancelling the meeting and issuing a statement.
Imran Khan at once took to twitter to tweet his anger at the Indian response and the Pakistani Foreign Office registered their protest as well.
This tit for tat will continue till Pakistan understands that if it wants to improve ties with its neighbors – India and Afghanistan – and with other countries it will need to stop supporting jihadis which currently seems improbable.