Past eventResearch Event

India-Pakistan Dialogue: The Case for Uninterrupted and Uninterruptible Talks

Chatham House, London


Mani Shankar Aiyar, former Indian diplomat (1963-89) and Chairman, South Asia Foundation (India)



India-Pakistan relations have been severely strained since the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008. After the first talks between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in February 2010, the speaker will argue that the principal reason for the failure of the India-Pakistan dialogue over the past sixty years is that talks occur when least needed and do not occur when most needed. The speaker will highlight the need for dialogue to be structured in an uninterrupted and uninterruptible way, using historical precedents. He will argue that this would be the only way of protecting the dialogue from the types of disturbances which will inevitably continue until and unless both countries achieve a stable mutual relationship.

Mani Shankar Aiyar is Chairman of the South Asia Foundation-India and Honorary Advisor, Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training. He has been a Member of the Indian Parliament, Consul General of India to Karachi (1978-82) and a frequent visitor to Pakistan since in both an official and unofficial capacity. He is also a columnist and author of several books, including A Time of Transition: Rajiv Gandhi to the 21st Century (Penguin, 2009).