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Beyond words: On Indo-Pak ties

India and Pakistan must build on diplomatic courtesy to restore equilibrium to ties
In the midst of the inane(व्यर्थ/बेहूदा) controversy(विवाद) over Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s presence at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s swearing-in(शपथ ग्रहण) ceremony(समारोह), there have been more substantive( वास्तविक/मौलिक)exchanges(आदान-प्रदान) between New Delhi and Islamabad. In his first statement after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf emerged(उभरा) as the single largest party, Mr. Khan singled out India as a foreign policy relationship he hoped to work on, offering to walk “two steps for every one step” that India took. Narendra Modi responded with a phone call, and they spoke of a shared vision of “peace and development”. Next, the Indian High Commissioner called on Mr. Khan and presented him a cricket bat with the signatures of the Indian team members. Mr. Khan’s new appointee on the Pakistan Cricket Board has said that resuming(फिर से शुरू करना) bilateral(द्विपक्षीय ) cricket is high on the leader’s agenda for improving people-to-people ties. Last week, a delegation(प्रतिनिधि-मंडल/प्रत्यायोजन) led by a Minister in Pakistan’s caretaker government came to Delhi to attend Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s funeral(अंतिम संस्कार). On Sunday, Pakistan’s new Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, said Mr. Khan had received a congratulatory (बधाई का)letter from Mr. Modi calling for the two countries to pursue “constructive(“रचनात्मक/निर्माणकारी ) engagement(जुड़ाव”)”. And on Tuesday Mr. Khan tweeted that trade andresolution(प्रस्ताव/संकल्प) of differences through dialogue are the “best way” to “uplift the people in the subcontinent(उपमहाद्वीप)”. All these gestures(संकेत/हाव-भाव) confirm that both the Prime Ministers are at least sticking(लिपटना/चिपटनेवाला) by diplomatic(राजनयिक/कूटनीतिज्ञ) courtesy(सौजन्य/विनम्रता) against the backdrop of an otherwise acrimonious(उग्र/तीखा) relationship.

Well-chosen words, however, will not be enough. To begin with, there appears (प्रकट होता है/ प्रतीत होता है।) to be very little trust in any quarter of both capitals. Both leaders face political realities that could inhibit(रोकना/मना करना) them from taking any major risks. Mr. Modi, who dealt with the Pathankot airbase attack just days after his visit to Lahore in December 2015, may well prefer to avoid such overtures, especially with Lok Sabha elections due in less than a year. Mr. Khan, who commands a thin majority in Parliament, and has frequently(लगातार/अक्सर) criticised(आलोचना की) his predecessors(पूर्ववर्तियों) for close ties with India, may choose to remain conservative(अपरिवर्तनवादी/रूढ़िवादी). Even so, the steps needed are clear. To begin with, the situation at the Line of Control urgently needs attention, and a restoration(बहाली/ उद्धार) of the ceasefire would be a major move forward for both countries. Mr. Khan could earn Pakistan an economic breather(सांस लेना/विश्राम/मोहलत) if he adheres(पालन ​​करता है) to the international Financial Action Task Force’s demands on ending terror financing; he would earn more goodwill by directly addressing India’s concerns on the support to terrorists in Pakistan, and those being pushed over the LoC. These actions could set up an even bolder move, no matter how unlikely it currently seems: for Mr. Modi to agree to restore the SAARC process by attending the long-delayed summit due in Islamabad this year. Much work, preferably(विशेषतः/श्रेष्ठ मानते हुए) behind the scenes, is needed if Mr. Modi and Mr. Khan hope to realise any of the objectives they have spoken of over the past month.


Important Vocabulary

Synonyms: absurd, asinine, daft, empty, fatuous
Antonyms: bright, intelligent, smart

2.Funeral(अंतिम संस्कार)
Synonyms: burial, cremation, entombment, inhumation, interment
Antonyms: baptism, christening

Synonyms:civility, deference, generosity, kindness, reverence
Antonyms:disdain, disregard, meanness, aloofness, coldness

4.Breather(सांस लेना/विश्राम/मोहलत)
Synonyms:lull, respite, break, pause, recess
Antonyms: continuation

5.inhibit(रोकना/मना करना)
Synonyms:constrain, curb, discourage, forbid, hinder
Antonyms: advance, aid, allow, assist, encourage

6.Restoration(बहाली/ उद्धार
Synonyms: rebuilding, reclamation, recovery, rehabilitation, renewal
Antonyms: destruction, abolition, neglect

Synonyms: appear, arrive, come up, crop up, develop
Antonyms: abandon, decrease, disappear, drop, fall



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