Mayank Chhaya speaks with Tarun Basu on Expectations from Modi Meeting on Kashmir: A Reality Check | SAM Conversation

Jun 26, 2021

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with 14 leaders from the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday was prompted by several factors, the two main ones being his acute awareness of his personal stature having significantly diminished internationally over his callous handling of the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic and signs that the Biden administration may be leaning on him to restore some measure of political normalcy to the state.

This is the broad overview of Tarun Basu, the well-known New Delhi based journalist and president of the think tank Society for Policy Studies (SPS), which among other activities runs a respected online journal, South Asia Monitor. Tarun was also the founder-editor of the India Abroad News Service - later IANS - which under his leadership became India’s most respected independent news wire.

Writing a remarkable curtain-raiser to the Thursday meeting, Basu said, “Linked tangentially to a political decision on Kashmir are the tangled web of Afghan peace talks, with New Delhi reported to have conducted secret parleys with the Taliban, as the latter steadily moves towards its goal of controlling Afghanistan once more. Unless Kashmir moves towards democratic governance - and New Delhi is able to reach some kind of modus vivendi over it with Islamabad - it will remain vulnerable to extremist influences and spillovers from the notorious AfPak terror sanctuaries.”

Quite extraordinarily Tarun also wrote, “There is little doubt that Islamabad was tipped off about the likely happenings in New Delhi, in a way to force the Modi government's hand.”

Tarun Basu spoke to Mayank Chhaya Reports.