The Foreign Office in a statement on Thursday rejected the perception that the military was blocking normalisation of ties with India. This comes in response to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent comments where he tried to suggest that the civil-military inequity in Pakistan was hindering his efforts to have better relations with Islamabad. The blame game is an endless endeavour. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had earlier this week also accused India of obstructing progress towards resumption of dialogue.

While it is easy to make statements about who is at fault, sweeping claims do not hold merit unless a peace dialogue takes place as soon as possible. This is nothing of real worth, these accusations will keep flying back and forth.

At the end of 2015, it was agreed to continue the conversation between the two foreign secretaries about organising the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue in the spring and summer of 2016. But in the aftermath of the Pathankot incident, India has been stalling and Mr. Modi seems like he has his hands tied when it comes to resuming dialogue with Pakistan. The fact that he enjoys a strong standing in his own party, a majority in the lower house of parliament, a significant improvement in India’s relations with all major powers, defy the logic that he should not take a fresh initiative towards Islamabad.

PM Modi would do well to break free from the Indian mass media pressure that has repeatedly disrupted India’s engagement with Pakistan. He could also draw the hostile opposition parties, especially the BJP, into the peace process by encouraging their leaders to reevaluate their aggressive stance on peace with the neighbouring country. There is truth in the claim that India has found it difficult to communicate with the army leadership when civilian governments have been in power. India’s contact with the army was possible only when Pakistan was under military rule and the army chief General Pervez Musharraf was the head of state. But the military leadership today is open to dialogue and supports initiatives for peace as demonstrated by the continuous conversation between the two national security advisers—which has come to be known as Bangkok Mechanism.

At the end of the day, dialogue will only happen if both parties are committed to tackling the hard issues like Kashmir. Meanwhile the empty repartee will continue.