Talks produced nothing but promise for more talks: Pak media
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Islamabad, July 16: Pakistan's leading newspapers have lamented that the Indo-Pak foreign ministerial-level talks have produced nothing but a promise for more talks.
"Pakistan and India failed to agree on anything but that they would continue to talk," read the lead story in the nation's oldest daily Dawn on yesterday's talks between External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
"The Pakistan-India trust-building dialogue ended in a deadlock as the two sides failed to come up with a clear roadmap for sustainable engagement or a consensus on confidence-building measures," read the report titled 'No common ground found'.
The News daily too lamented the "bad news" in a story headlined 'no progress reported' that the Qureshi-Krishna talks produced nothing more than "a promise of more talks".
"...(talks) collapsed, not for the sheer absence of the right momentum but because of India's inflexibility to agree to outlining a specific roadmap for future talks wherein Pakistan wanted the inclusion of the issues of Jammu and Kashmir and the Siachen Glacier, as had been the case in the erstwhile Composite Dialogue, a phrase now abandoned in favour of the more open-ended sounding sustained dialogue, sired by the Mumbai incident."
In its editorial The News described the talks as "small steps" taken in the right direction.
"There were no surprises and the two men sat next to one another speaking in measured tones – they wanted nobody to misunderstand what they said. Yet what they said was very little and there was not much room for misunderstanding it.
"Reading between the lines there are a number of positives. The first was that they took longer in their discussions than was expected, a sign that they were at least prepared to sit around a table with an agenda that was clearly wide-ranging.
"Secondly, they are going to be doing it again and our foreign minister has accepted an invitation from his Indian counterpart to visit in the near future. Thirdly it is obvious that even though there may be a willingness to discuss more openly and frankly the issues which both divide as well as bind us together – few of them are easily soluble."
"Words like 'useful' and positive' peppered the press conference throughout and the impression was given that we have moved on from 'talks about talks' to 'talks about what we do next'. To the man on the street this may seem like little more than a rearrangement of the chairs, but in diplomatic terms this is a significant shift in the currents that run between us. There is no quick fix, but at least the possibility of a fix for some things is on the table. Keep talking," the edit concluded.
The Express Tribune in a report titled 'Talking the
talk' wrote that the two ministers' "stiff body language and the carefully minced words were dead giveaways".
"And correspondingly, the latest round of talks between Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi did not produce any concrete results nor a roadmap for the future. Not unless one counts Krishna's invitation to Qureshi to come play tennis in December... And this is the reason analysts have dubbed the meeting 'talk, for the sake of talk'."
The Express Tribune editorial opined that it would be good if Islamabad were to indeed promise some kind of decisive action to India.
"Well over a billion people on both sides of the border could immensely benefit if their respective governments and establishments were to demonstrate the courage and will to resolve their differences (for India the bone of contention would be terrorism and for Pakistan water) and let each other live in peace and without seeing the other as the enemy.
"Of course, to expect that to happen from a few hours of meetings between ministers may be expecting perhaps too much – however, at least a start seems to have been made and this should not be squandered, or else hawks in both India and Pakistan will feel further emboldened," the edit read.
The Nation wrote that the talks were going "nowhere".
"As expected, the Foreign Ministers' talks produced no concrete results in terms of any movement towards the conflict resolution. In fact the only agreement that seemed to have come out of these talks was the Pakistani Foreign Minister's immediate acceptance of an invitation to visit India! So more travel expenses for the Pakistani tax payer for a visit that will again probably bring no fruits for the country."
"Actually from the Indian perspective the talks did yield some positive signs for India since the Pakistani Foreign Minister made it clear that the major common concern was not Kashmir but terrorism, which he saw as the "common enemy" which both countries must fight jointly.
Then he went on to add that both sides sought to find a way to hasten the "trial process" - a reference to Mumbai.
"If terrorism was the central focus of the talks, as it seems, then why did the Pakistani side not raise the issue of trials for the Samjhota Express accused? Clearly, the Pakistani side came under pressure from India and succumbed to it."
Lastupdate on : Fri, 16 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 16 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 17 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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