The recent letter sent by Prime Minister Imran Khan, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, extended an olive branch to India and instilled the hope of cordial relations between the two eternal enemies. The first step was proposing a meeting between their respective foreign ministers, on the sidelines of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session. Initially, India accepted the offer and a possible thaw in relations could be foreseen, but the joy was short lived as India resorted to play its all-time favorite role of the reluctant bride, and with that all hopes of peace came dashing down once again. Of course India has come up with certain reservations but these are preposterous ones, the statements issued by Indian MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) say that insurgents trained and armed by Pakistan have killed Indian LEA personnel which include three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and a BSF (Border Security Force) guard whose body was mutilated as well. Furthermore, Pakistan glorifies terrorists because they have issued postal stamps to commemorate Burhan Wani. Now either the information sharing amongst departments in India is very slow or they are too naïve to come up with some better pretext. The events in retaliation to which the talks have been put in cold storage occurred, way before India had acceded to hold the meeting and Pakistan had already rejected the Indian accusations. So what is it that is preventing the Modi Government from initiating peace process. One, Modi Government is under immense pressure from Congress Party after the former French President Francis Hollande told in an interview that Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defense Ltd was made partner in Rafale jets deal on Indian Government’s request, which gave rise to suspicion of embezzlement on Modi Governments part. Two, elections are just around the corner in India and maintaining an antagonistic posture against Pakistan will assist BJP to earn respect in eyes of their supporters and their Right Wing political allies like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Being a peace preaching dove for a party, that capitalises on hate, and uses it as a fuel to run their political campaigns, is a hard pill to swallow and will diminish the probability of BJP winning the upcoming elections. The tactic has been used previously as well, not long ago talks initiative was aborted by the Indian side citing Uri Attacks and a self-proclaimed surgical strike on Pakistan in retaliation by India. So the line, “One step forward, two steps back.”, cannot be given a better form than Pak-India peace process. Although much desired maturity has been displayed by the Pakistani side, but by not commensurating, the Indian side has exposed itself in the international arena, the duplicity which India exercises by showing outward compliance for peace, but inward defiance for the same has raised many eye brows. The world has fathomed the ulterior motives of India, and the Modi government may not be able to garner support this time; as no neutral state is going to buy this broken record of India crying foul anymore. Another paradigm shift witnessed this time is that vitriolic statements once emanating from the office of the Indian Defense Minister; are now coming from the Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat. This is a premonition that India is least interested in holding talks, they know that had the Foreign Ministers put the issues on the anvil, the chances of ironing out the differences would have been bright. However, all these moves on part of India suggest that she does not want to resolve any issue including Kashmir. Initially, India accepted the offer and a possible thaw in relations could be foreseen, but the joy was short lived as India resorted to play its all-time favourite role: the reluctant bride. With that all hopes of peace came dashing down once again It is a time of reckoning for both sides, especially India as they are used to looking at things through a jingoistic lens without realising that our region is inflicted by poverty, ignorance and lack of basic facilities. The idea of fanning the flames of war is absurd;as millions of people on both sides are still living below poverty line.To then have this Sword of Damocles hanging above our states, in the form of war, is devouring financial resources that otherwise could have been utilised for the amelioration of the downtrodden masses. The people of India, must also discourage their government from taking aggressive stances every now and then by relying on baseless threats. Unfortunately, owing to ignorance and poverty the masses are easily carried away by the rhetoric and they also start to toe the line of fire and fury. We should learn from the people of Europe who were once embroiled in the bloodiest of conflicts in history like WW-II but after having firsthand experience of conflicts they have learnt their lesson and countries that once drew daggers are now joined by a union unlike any other where their people can interact freely. While people of subcontinent have not witnessed such brutal conflicts in recent history that turn bustling metropolis into a necropolis and this is the reason they take war as something which excites them. They say wise is the one who learns from the blunders of others and we also need to learn from the blunders of other nations. Moreover, those nations were diligent enough to rebuild their countries and those wars were not between states as heavily nuclear armed as India and Pakistan are today. Now the onus to bring the Indian government to the table; lies on the shoulders of Indian people as Pakistan has already extended its hand for peace. The two, third world nations cannot constantly afford to be under the dark clouds of war. The writer can be reached via twitter: @murtazakazi1 Published in Daily Times, September 27th 2018.