It took India two years to agree to reopen talks with Pakistan. The excuse not to engage was the Mumbai terror incident. Two years after the resumption of the dialogue, Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna visited Pakistan, earlier this month. Progress has been made on parts of the composite agenda. More or less, on lines of priorities set by New Delhi. While, in the past, Pakistan had insisted on the resolution of the lingering disputes between the two countries, India’s interests centred on trade, culture and people-to-people contacts.Krishna-Hina September negotiations have resulted in the agreement to liberalise the visa regime and reinforce the resolve to boost trade and cultural ties. Hina’s remarks at the joint press conference of the two Foreign Ministers merit special notice. Said Ms Khar: “We are willing to forge ahead with a different future which is people-centric, which is development-centric, which is centric to the common citizens of India and Pakistan, which is committed to creating stakeholders in the economic interests and the future of the two countries.”These words remarkably reflect the position and the point of view India trotted out all the time in the previous years.The fact of the matter is what Moeed Yusuf, a Pakistani scholar who works in a think-tank in Washington DC, put it in a recent column: “What we are witnessing is a Pakistan, which has come round to India’s longstanding demand of moving along on economic ties, while other issues are dealt with at their own pace.” Moeed rightly here refers to the “growing power differential” between the two countries - India’s rising stature and Pakistan’s “growing internal weakness and limited diplomatic options.” It also needs to be noted that Pakistan’s strained relationship with USA is forcing it to rethink its foreign relations and forge closer ties with regional powers. Peace with the eastern neighbour fits in with this changing approach to foreign relations.A politically unstable and economically enervated Pakistan finds itself well advised to mend its relationship with a larger and stronger neighbour.Krishna’s visit further has left a message for Islamabad - that it is not willing to seriously address the disputes, which had for decades bedeviled ties between New Delhi and Islamabad. This explains why no headway has been made in the meetings held during the last two years with regard to Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Greek and the river water issues. Time was when Pakistan had linked discussions to open trade with India with the resolution of the Kashmir question. While a passing reference to Kashmir is made in the meetings between representatives of the two countries, the matter has practically been pushed to a backburner. All that is said or done is with regard to confidence building measures to expand travel and exchange of some goods across the Line of Control between the two Kashmirs’.Foreign Minister Krishna, repeatedly, referred to the expeditious prosecution of Mumbai attack suspects, in his meetings with Pakistani officials, politicians and journalists. According to the joint statement issued after the Foreign Ministers’ meetings, “the Ministers noted the commitment given by Pakistan during the Interior/Home Secretary talks in May 2012 to bring all the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks to justice expeditiously in accordance with due process of law.”As for the much awaited Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Pakistan, the impression given by Krishna was not positive. At the joint press conference he said that “the right atmosphere has to be created for the trip” and there should be a concrete outcome.One can say that presently New Delhi is not serious about the resolution of the disputes. It does recognise the need for doing something to address them, but would rather keep deferring decisions, letting status quo continue. The case of Siachen is a clear example of Indian’s firm denial to reach some sort of solution. The dispute is now 28 years old. It was almost resolved in 1989. Of late, India has been insisting that there should be an authentication of the current troop positions and an actual ground demarcation. Pakistan’s proposal for a schedule of withdrawal based on present and future positions has been rejected. The Indians refused to discuss even the environmental degradation aspect of the military occupation. Pakistan is reported to have handed over a paper to the Indian side about the use of river waters. The impasse has continued, as New Delhi has confined the water issues to the Wullar Barrage Project only. For other water problems, Pakistan is told to use the mechanism of Permanent Indus Water Commission.As stated above, India’s interest is centred on trade, travel and cultural ties. Three crucial agreements are expected to be signed during the next week during the Commerce Secretary level talks. The other day, Pakistan’s Secretary Commerce Muneer Qureshi said: “We will sign three crucial agreements and discuss other matters with the aim of boosting trade during the upcoming scheduled talks.”During the 5th South Asia Economic Summit organised by SDPI being held in Islamabad, Amin Hashwani, Co-Chairman of the India-Pakistan CEOs Business Forum, emphasised the need for a level playing field. He referred to non-tariff barriers some of which are Pakistan-specific and which negatively impact prospects of boosting trade. Eighty-five percent of the trade presently, according to Hashwani, is in favour of India. Some of our agricultural experts have also expressed reservations about free trade with India. Dr Tariq Bucha, President of the Farmers Association of Pakistan, highlighted, the other day, the constraints and disadvantages Pakistani agriculturalists suffer from, compared to the conditions in India. “Indian agriculture is highly subsidised and ours is highly indebted,” he said, adding that “there are heavy taxes on agricultural inputs” collected in advance, while power for agriculture in India is free. The price of urea is 50 percent higher in Pakistan. India provides finance at 6 to 7 percent mark-up. In Pakistan, the rate is around 17 percent.The Indian Express in an editorial written after Krishna’s visit to Pakistan has called the present regime in Pakistan as the “friendliest civilian government in Islamabad.”While we certainly should strive to have good relations with our large eastern neighbour, should we not at the same time be sagacious enough to safeguard our vital interests. Tailpiece: A straw in the wind is the large number of TV channels transmitting Indian culture and social norms, day in and day out, while Pakistani TV channels are banned in India. Violence-and-bloodshed-saturated English movies are telecast - dozens of them every day on the Indian channels. According to a Pakistani sociologist, these killer movies have massively desensitised tens of millions of Pakistani viewers. And Pemra and the Government of Pakistan are partners in this “crime” against humanity. The political opposition is asleep or complicit in this horrendous display of acts of omission and commission.