The Chao Track

The Jinnah Institute held the 23rd round of The Chao Track II dialogue between India and Pakistan on 6-7 July 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. The strategic dialogue sessions focused on unpacking the Balakot crisis, understanding the shift in bilateral relations, examining the Afghanistan reconciliation talks and their impact on bilateral relations, and the developments in Jammu and Kashmir, along with terrorism and extremism in the region. The lowering of the escalation threshold in Pakistan-India context was discussed in detail. Indian side emphasized the role of terrorism and the new policy in New Delhi of a muscular approach. Pakistani participants highlighted that Pakistan will retaliate and dominate the escalation ladder the next time an attack is conducted by India and the dialogue was the only way possible in resolving our bilateral disputes. On Kashmir, the Indian delegation hinted that a ‘political solution’ aka the removal of Article 370 was a possibility. Pakistani delegation warned that such actions would not be acceptable and would give rise to greater insurgency in the valley, alienating not just those seeking self-determination, but also those mainstream politicians who had favoured India. Pakistani delegation also warned against changing the demography of Kashmir. The dialogue also provided detailed recommendations on restarting a backchannel dialogue through the NSA format, or any other format. Other recommendations included opening of the airspace and continuing with the Kartarpur initiative.

Pakistan Delegation:

Sherry Rehman, Senator and President Jinnah Institute

Tariq Fatemi, Former Special Assistant to PM on Foreign Affairs

Aziz Ahmad Khan, Former High Commissioner to India

Salman Bashir, Former Foreign Secretary

Tasnim Aslam, Former Special Secretary

Khawar Hanif, Former Maj General at Doctrine and Evaluation, GHQ

Zahid Hussain, Author and Columnist

Mosharraf Zaidi, Policy Analyst and Consultant

Ammara Durrani, Policy Analyst and Advisor on Youth Affairs

India Delegation

Manish Tewari, Member of Parliament Congress

Happymon Jacob, Professor at JNU

Seshadri Chari, BJP Executive Council Member

KC Singh, Former Foreign Secretary

Vivek Katju, Former Ambassador

Barkha Dutt, Journalist

Siddharth Vardarajan, Founder The Wire

Suhasini Haidar, Journalist

Ata Hasnain, Former Maj General Indian Army

Bharat Gopalaswamy, Policy Analyst




Emerging Leaders Forum Dialogue

Emerging Leaders Forum was held between July 8 and 9, 2019. The participants at dialogue were as follows:

Pakistani Delegation:

Syed Hassan Akbar, Chair

Jamal Aziz, Executive Director RSIL

Rafiullah Kakar, Baloch Activist and Advisor to Balochistan Government

Anum Zakaria, Historian and Author

Mehmal Sarfraz, Journalist

Salman Zaidi, Development Consultant

Amber Shamsi, Journalist and News Anchor

Ammara Durrani, Strategic Dialogue Observer 

India Delegation:

Happymon Jacob, Chair 

Ruhee Neog, Director IPCS

Saikat Datta, Journalist

Sakal Bhushan, Lawyer

Shah Faesal, Kashmiri Politician

Raghav Chada, Aam Admi Party Spokesperson

Archana Negi, Prof International Relations

The Emerging Leaders Forum thematic areas for discussion were the Constitution and democracy, climate change and its impact, the role of the news cycle on driving narratives, the impact of an arms race on strategic security, political violence and citizenship and the role of gender in bilateral relations.