Back in September 2018, when Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan offered a substantial peace initiative for New Delhi, it was met with belligerence that resulted in cancellation of New York talks at the eleventh hour. PM Khan at the time had a valid reason to equate Indian PM Narendra Modi with the term ‘small men occupying big offices.’The past few days almost brought the two countries to the brink of a full-scale war. While the details are widely known, the context in which New Delhi consistently refuses to open doors for dialogue is largely linked to the upcoming general elections to be held in a few months time. Khan certainly had the bigger heart when his government released the captured Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. As an additional goodwill gesture, PM Khan even tried making contact with Modi which was met an excuse of a ‘busy schedule’. Though it was an ill-advised move since Islamabad already had the upper hand in diplomacy and it should’ve rather been New Delhi asking for talks. Yet, PM Khan reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to peace and diplomacy.This is why the international community and leaders across the world applauded Pakistan for its position and recent actions. But what about the power corridors in New Delhi and the brightly lit news studios of Delhi and Mumbai? Are they willing to accept Pakistan as a friendly neighbour? Probably not. Their hostile attitude towards Islamabad may stem from history but then again, why would Pakistan even be involved in state-sponsored terrorism when facts are yet to be ascertained? And the blindness of Indian opinion makers and politicos to a homegrown freedom movement in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoK) that has by all measures reached a tipping point.The dossier provided by South Block on Jaish e Muhammad’s(JeM) alleged involvement in Pulwama attack came quite late when hostilities increased to the point of a war-like situation. The Bharayta Janata Party (BJP) has been losing ground across India and it most likely requires something in terms of national security to boost its prospects of winning the elections. A regional BJP leader from Karnataka brazenly admitted that the current showdown with Pakistan would enhance BJP’s position in the electoral arena.After releasing the pilot, India is still bent upon perpetuating tensions through aggression at the Line of Control (LoC) with multiple civilian and military casualties reported. Also the use of Howitzer guns is a grave sign.It is unfortunate that New Delhi is not responding to Islamabad’s peace overtures thereby losing another chance of diplomacy driving the future of South Asia. *Published in Daily Times, March 3rd 2019.