Joint communiqu released at the sidelines of NAM summit was quite refreshing. Subsequent volte-face is equally intriguing. Real politick considerations of that time (read winning of general elections) dictated the overly tough stance taken by the Indian government on Mumbai event. Nevertheless, prudence was expected to come to fore, after the elections. Delinking of composite dialogue from Mumbai occurrence was indeed long overdue. Presumably, from now on, Mumbai occurrence shall be a subset of composite dialogue and would no longer be a show-stopper. Right from the outset, it was not a farsighted stance to keep the entire ambit of Pak-India relations hostage to a single event. Unfortunately, a flurry of backtrackings from the joint communiqu has resulted in raised eyebrows regarding the underlying motives. Moreover, it has once again exposed the inherent weakness in India's Pakistan policy-making mechanism. Lack of consistency and succumbing to expediency clearly come out as the driving factors of India's Pakistan policy that appears to have only one constant under writer, and that is opportunism. Backlash at home and retracting under the garb of poor drafting is a serious contradiction that India has to manage sooner or later. Criticism at the domestic front is indeed logical fallout of an illogically high pitch anti-Pakistan posture assumed by the Indian government for political encashment. Nevertheless, Indian government will have to swallow the bitter pill sooner or later, because stance of refusing to talk to another state in not tenable for an indefinite time. It is quite interesting that by terming the Joint communiqu as bad drafting, Indian foreign secretary has tried to dissociate his department from the text and the context. Likewise Indian PM has given an antitheses sort of interpretations of the communiqu. While contrasting this joint announcement against the inappropriately tough stance taken by the Indian PM, during previous summit in Russia, only about a month ago, one has to take a careful look to discern the causes leading to such summer salts. One, oft floated, reason could have been to placate US secretary of state and grab what all she had to offer during her visit to India. Later, one could go back on the pledge, after all such going back on words is nothing unusual in Indian diplomatic practices, especially when it comes to Pakistan affairs. If this is the raison d'tre, then one could presume that the enhanced leverage that US has acquired vis a vis India, in exchange for nuclear deal, is quite significant. Indian dependency is likely to increase further in the wake of the US emerging as major defence hardware supplier. Indians have nothing tangible to offer to US for creating interdependency and counterbalancing the cumulative influence that US is acquiring over India. In this context, talks of opening up Indian markets to American consumer goods do not carry much substance. One has to realistically see that despite good macro economic indicators, like growth rate of around 9 percent, a significant mass of Indian population lives below poverty threshold and hardly has worthwhile purchasing power to buy expensive imported goods. Moreover, traditionally Indian economy has thrived on a culture of savings; consumer culture is something strange to the Indian common man. Therefore, one could safely deduce that India is entering into a one-way trip in her US relations' voyage. Such unidirectional dependencies always have a price tag and India-US duo would be no different. India does not have much to offer as barter to what it is getting from US, except ceding of strategic space. So should we say that bullyboy of South Asia stands tamed? Yes, at least partially; it seems so. Probably, India can no longer ignore US dictates. What an irony that India had to demonstrate this inadequacy on the sidelines of NAM summit. Of course not an enviable deportment for a founding member of NAM It could also be a diversionary tactic for preempting strong reaction to the induction of nuclear submarine, and hence attempting to muzzle it by placating Pakistan in advance. Yet another reason could be the necessity of restarting the composite dialogue before the commencement of the forthcoming annual UNGA session. There India needs to wear the look of a responsible owner of a nuclear powered submarine for strengthening self-conceived locus standi for a permanent berth in UNSC. Later on, poor composite dialogue could be put on back burners, on one pretext or the other, to satisfy the home clientele. If India and Pakistan are to achieve a sustainable good neighbourly relation, they have to evolve a robust bilateral mechanism for crisis management. There is a need to look into the possibility of a bilateral standing commission which could be co-chaired by respective national security advisors to handle emergent situations under an institutional umbrella. Objectives of this commission could be to contain the crisis and avoid conflagration on the onset of a situation; later, it could look into each occurrence objectively, determine causes and recommend measures to avoid repetitions. Unnecessary alarming actions could be avoided through such institutionalised conflict management arrangements. India needs to pay heed to the Balochistan facts taken up by the Pakistani side during the meeting of the two prime ministers. India's cavernous involvement in Balochistan affairs through her purpose built consulates all along Pak-Afghan border is certainly not conducive for good neighbourly relations. It is indeed a recipe for perpetuating mistrust. Whenever, India is able to manage her Pakistan policy contradictions, she shall always find Pakistan ready for a sustainable constructive engagement. Platter of composite dialogue is full of lingering issues, needing persistent attention. Some of these have defied solution for the last 60 years or so; majority of these have fallen hostage to faulty attitudes and erratic fixations. There is a need to go beyond the bounded vision to surpass such inhibitions. Pakistan is ready for this cruise; India needs to make up her mind quickly, and come on board. India seems to have come out of Mumbai blues, courtesy counter expediencies; however, tactical relapses are expected The writer is a retired air officer of the Pakistan Air Force E-mail: