Keep your resolve
It is UPA's responsibility in this moment to ensure that dialogue with Pakistan is not derailed.
The terrorist attacks at a police station and an army camp in Jammu have inflicted a terrible toll. They have also, as intended, roiled the public discourse ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's meeting with Pakistan's new leader Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meet on Sunday. The BJP has forcefully advised the prime minister to hold off all talks with Pakistan until "a more conducive environment" is guaranteed. And, as in the past, even the Congress may not unitedly rally behind the PM's initiative. The government's initial reactions have been level-headed. The prime minister has said the attack was carried out by the "enemies of peace" and emphasised that they will not deter the Indian government or derail the bilateral dialogue.
A peaceful equilibrium with Pakistan has been one of Manmohan Singh's avowed priorities, right from his first term. He made a brave overture at Sharm el-Sheikh, despite the Congress's disgruntlement, and kept a harmonious engagement going in Thimphu and Male later. Singh has stressed the need for economic integration and trade ties, for sporting and cultural exchanges, and above all, a running dialogue with Pakistan's political establishment, knowing that it is the one axis of authority India can realistically converse with.