India and Pakistan: The Latest Diplomatic Debacle

India and Pakistan: The Latest Diplomatic Debacle

NEW DELHI -- Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna's three-day visit to Pakistan last week to move the bilateral Composite Dialogue forward will be joining a long list of Indo-Pak diplomatic debacles, the most recent one being at Sharm el-Sheikh last July.

However, even by the abysmal standards of Indo-Pakistani diplomacy, the public spat between Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart, Mehmood Qureshi, at the joint press conference in Islamabad on July 15, marks a new low in bilateral engagement.

It has also raised a fundamental question about India's foreign policy toward its neighbor, one that is deeply dividing an already fractious Indian polity: Should India continue to view Pakistan merely as an adversary to be contained? Or should New Delhi drastically recraft its approach to instead cultivate Islamabad as a "friend"?

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