India and Pakistan surprised the globe when on February 26, 2021, after a distinctive joint committee meeting, both sides decided to honor a 2003 cease-fire agreement. Twenty-four hours after this meeting, a top diplomat of the United Arab Emirates visited New Delhi for a day.
The official UAE readout of the February 26 meeting shared a little of what discussed, where Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed spoke with Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, saying they “discussed all regional and international issues of common interest and exchanged views on them.”
Officials asking for anonymity say that the peace talks have been orchestrated by UAE royals months earlier. The cease-fire is said to be the start of a beginning of a larger timetable to establishing last peaceful relations between the two nuclear-weapon neighbors with a deep history of territory-disputed spates and two major wars aside from Kargil.
The official says that now both sides will reinstate the envoys in New Delhi and Islamabad, who were pulled in 2019 after Pakistan protested India’s move to revoke seven decades of autonomy for the disputed Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Then again, there will be talks on resuming trade and a lasting pledge and resolution on Kashmir, which has been the case of three wars since India and Pakistan‘s independence from the Britain Raj in 1947.
India and Pakistan over the years have made spurious peaceful pacts jabbed by border fights, terror strikes, anti-India, anti-Pakistan bitter election-campaign speeches which spurred on angry emotions and attacks and splintered the harmony, so what can be different now? It is assumed that the talks may just be superficial coatings to wear off soon.
The reason why this may be different is that China has the strongest military in the world overtaking the USA, is looking for new lands to conquer, and making no bones about it. China has already insidiously entered India and annexed parts of Indian territory to it and the Indian Prime Minister is unable to challenge them on it. Pakistan while fighting India might end up being colonized by China.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India also wants to establish stronger military enforcements and better trade to enhance relationships to keep out China and the best way to harness it would be to garner better relations with Pakistan.
The UAE has a long history of trade and diplomatic links with both India and Pakistan has now taken a stronger international role under de facto ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to establish peace. Times turned bad in the past when UAE had intervened in Indian conflicts to back militant groups and regional leaders. However, India is important to UAE to build global trade, so political friendships are imperative.
While Pulwama cut India-Pakistan ties two years ago in the suicide attack in India-controlled Kashmir killing 40 Indian soldiers, presently both India and Pakistan “agreed to address each other’s core issues,” nodding for extensive wider discussions on Kashmir and terrorism to reach a peaceful consensus.
Presently, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry did not comment on the talks or the role of the UAE, and the foreign ministries of India and the UAE have not yet reflected their opinions, but the writing is on the cards and the tide is turning to a peaceful shore.