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Overnight flip-flop: on the cancelled Swaraj-Qureshi meeting

The government must explain why it cancelled the Swaraj-Qureshi meeting
Within 24 hours of announcing a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in New York next week, India called it off. The reasons cited for this overnight flip-flop are recent attacks in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based groups, and stamps issued by the Pakistani postal service that glorified(पूजना/महिमा) Kashmiri terrorists. According to the MEA spokesperson(प्रवक्ता), both acts “expose” Pakistan’s “evil(बुराई/हानि) agenda” and the “true face of the new Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan”, rendering(प्रस्तुत करते हैं/प्रतिपादन) talks “meaningless”. While the government is well within its rights to rethink any decision it takes, the reasons that it has furnished( सुसज्जित/प्रस्तुत किया) for cancelling the meeting are far from convincing(विश्वासप्रद/ठोस). To begin with, there have been a number of violent(हिंसक/उग्र) attacks in J&K in the past few months which predate the government’s decision to schedule the meeting. Since the beginning of the year, 13 Border Security Force jawans have been killed along the Line of Control and the International Border, including the latest case on Wednesday of a jawan’s body recovered bearing(असर/व्यवहार) torture(यातनाएं देना/अत्याचार) marks. In the same period, more than 20 policemen belonging to J&K police have been killed by terror groups backed by Pakistan. The government’s reaction to Friday morning’s killing of three policemen thus appears puzzling(पेचीदा/हैरान करना). Equally bewildering(उलझन में डालना/भटकाना) is the subject of the stamps of Kashmiri terrorists; while there is no doubt that they are offensive(आक्रामक/घिनौना) , they were issued back in July before Mr. Khan came to power. The government needs to clarify its position on what prompted the cancellation of the meeting, not just for the domestic audience but also for the international community which is watching the India-Pakistan relationship very closely.

The decision to cancel the meeting in New York dampens hope for meaningful engagement between the two countries for the foreseeable(निकट) future, perhaps until the general election in India in 2019. Delhi and Islamabad should use this period to bring down tensions. In particular, the situation on the LoC warrants immediate(तुरंत)attention(ध्यान). A day before the killing of the BSF jawan, a statement by the Defence Minister that the Indian Army is “also cutting heads, but not displaying(प्रदर्शित)them” only highlights the need to stop the retaliatory cycle. The new hotline just operationalised(संचालित) between the BSF and the Pakistan Rangers is an important initiative(पहल/उपक्रम) in this regard(मामला/सम्मान). India’s decision to call off the New York meeting is only the latest in a series of cancellations of talks with Pakistan since the Modi government came to power. There is little doubt that provocations(उकसाव/उत्तेजना )from Pakistan, and the seriousness of the attacks launched by groups based there warrant a firm signal from India. But a credible(विश्वसनीय) position also requires consistency(स्थिरता/संगति) which the government has not brought to bear on its Pakistan policy thus far.



Important Vocabulary

Synonyms: eulogize, exalt, extol, lionize,, acclaim
Antonyms: condemn, criticize, censure, damn, decrease

Synonyms: bad, corrupt, destructive, hateful, heinous
Antonyms: agreeable, aiding, assisting, attractive, beautiful

3.Furnished( सुसज्जित/प्रस्तुत किया)
Synonyms: equipped, provided

Synonyms: demeanor, manner, address, air, aspect

5.Torture(यातनाएं देना/अत्याचार)
Synonyms: misery, persecution, suffering, torment, ache
Antonyms: happiness, joy, comfort, contentment, health

6.Puzzling(पेचीदा/हैरान करना). ,
Synonyms: ambiguous, baffling, bewildering, difficult, incomprehensible,
Antonyms: clear, comprehensible, explainable, explicable, explicit

Synonyms: abhorrent, abusive, annoying, distasteful, embarrassing
Antonyms:agreeable, delightful, good, kind, nice

8.Bewildering(उलझन में डालना/भटकाना) 
Synonyms: baffle, befuddle, bemuse, confound, daze
Antonyms: calm, clarify, clear up, comfort, enlighten

Synonyms: certain, anticipated, calculable, expected, foreseeable
Antonyms:improbable, unexpected, unforeseen, unpredictable

10.Provocations(उकसाव/उत्तेजना )
Synonyms: affront, harassment, indignity, insult, annoyance
Antonyms: compliment, discouragement, happiness, hindrance, pleasure

11.Provocations(उकसाव/उत्तेजना )
Synonyms: affront, harassment, indignity, insult, annoyance
Antonyms: compliment, discouragement, happiness, hindrance, pleasure



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