Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told the Senate on Thursday that no backchannel communication was currently underway between Pakistan and India. However, she conceded that backchannel lobbying had occurred throughout the PTI’s mandate, but it was uncertain if the previous administration was aware of it.
Nonetheless, she admitted that backchannel diplomacy may be beneficial if it is outcome-oriented.
During the PTI government’s mandate, Pakistan signed two treaties with India after August 5, according to the minister. She observed that bilateral official contacts are now restricted, as are people-to-people exchanges.
Despite the relationship’s challenges, the minister asserted that a couple of agreements had been made in the previous four years. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreed with India to launch the Kartarpur Corridor in October 2019, is one of these accords. This tunnel, dubbed the “Corridor of Peace” by UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, permits over 5,000 pilgrims to enter the holy site without the requirement for a visa on daily basis.
The minister also maintained that, despite New Delhi’s unfavorable attitude, Islamabad will continue to pursue peace and that tensions on the Line of Control have dropped. She also stressed that Pakistan has the greatest interest in realizing the region’s potential, but that Indian cross-border antagonism is unique, and that the BBC documentary on Modi has shown the world why Pakistan has adopted this stance.
Finally, the minister highlighted that Pakistan would continue to push for peace and that every political party must work together to get the country out of its current economic crisis.