Professor Maya Chadda Participates in India-Pakistan Track II Diplomatic Dialogue

Chadda was the only American citizen in the forum of 20 delegates

Maya Chadda, professor of political science at William Paterson University, recently served as the only American citizen delegate in an India-Pakistan Track II diplomatic dialogue held in New Delhi in March.

Chadda was part of a forum of twenty in the dialogue, ten representing Pakistan and ten representing India. The forum brought together former military officials, diplomats, journalists, policy experts, academics, and advocates for two days of intense deliberations to discuss a wide range of issues between both countries.

One of the delegation’s key recommendations to Pakistan, says Chadda, was that India should be granted preferential trade status to promote mutual trade. The fourth Delhi Dialogue concluded on March 14, 2014 with the adoption of a joint resolution calling on both countries to make concerted efforts towards improving bilateral relations.

The discussion was “extremely focused, open and honest,” says Chadda, who participated on India’s behalf.

“This Track II dialogue is very critical because Pakistan is anxious to neutralize any kind of threat from India,” says Chadda. The speedily adopted resolution, she says, is a confidence building measure. “The delegates are hoping that, while there is no official progress on border issues, at least the two countries can move along on trade and economic collaboration.” Such collaboration is vital in that India and Pakistan share five major rivers. The Track II goals are to promote an understanding with the goal of opening up travel between the two countries, including cultural exchange, she explains.

Chadda is the author of Why India Matters, released in February, 2014. On sabbatical from William Paterson University, she was in India completing research for a book on India’s regional security that will be published by Georgetown University Press. For this project, she interviewed top officials in the foreign policy establishment and intelligence community.

Entering its fourth year, the dialogue is part of an India-Pakistan Track II diplomacy initiative by the Center for Dialogue and Reconciliation and the Jinnah Institute, which seeks to promote peace between the two countries through constructive engagement and dialogue.