It is a manifestation of the mutual distrust and acrimony that exists between India and Pakistan that a move that should have brought them closer has resulted in heightening the climate of discord. The visit of the mother and wife of Indian death row convict Kulbhushan Jadhav to see him in a Pakistani jail has led to shabby treatment by the Pakistani authorities and scathing Indian criticism of Islamabad’s lack of grace and propriety. The condemnation of Pakistani behaviour has rarely been as strong in the Indian parliament as it was this time around with members cutting across party lines to show their disgust. That the two hapless women were made to converse with their loved one through speakers with a glass wall separating them and had to change into clothes given to them and made to take off their bangles and bindi was reprehensible indeed.
As so often in the past, the sinister hand of the Pakistan army can be seen in the macabre behaviour of the authorities in Islamabad. If there is a major hurdle in the path of Indo-Pak peace, it is the Pakistan army. Until that holds real power without commensurate responsibility, there can be little hope for harmony between the two countries.