Indo-Pak statement is just a road map


External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s announcement in Islamabad that the bilateral track between India and Pakistan will resume shortly has been hailed as a breakthrough, an ice-breaker, a diplomatic thaw that ends months of bitter acrimony and finger-pointing. However, the three-paragraph Indo-Pak joint statement is a mere road map, not a guarantee of peace. Even before the respective foreign secretaries set the ball rolling, it must be said that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are taking a huge gamble that may or may not pay off; unless the goal is to keep talking in the face of every provocation, which is the West’s mantra for success and goes against the Modi government’s previously held tenet that “talks and terror cannot go hand in hand”.