‘No exchange of barbs’ seems to be new theme song between India and Pakistan that will be attain high pitch before the visit of the US President, Barak Obama to New Delhi. There are indications that the two countries will settle down to serious business of reinitiating the paused composite dialogue. New Delhi and Islamabad got engaged in renewed war of attrition after the talks between Indian External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in Islamabad ended at an acrimonious note. Notwithstanding the bitterness generated at the Islamabad meet, and its further getting accentuated with the grave situation in Jammu and Kashmir during past three months, the Foreigners Ministers of the two countries are expected to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session. Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi besides highlighting the Kashmir situation at the OIC Foreign Ministers annual meet at New York has been raising Kashmir problem at various other forums ahead of the UN General Assembly session. The OIC contact group on Kashmir adopted yet another resolution supporting ‘right to self-determination’ for people of Jammu and Kashmir and calling for the resolution of 63 year old dispute. The countries despite their differences on issues like Kashmir and terrorism are convinced that there was no other alternative but to engage in dialogue. Addressing a gathering at the Asia Society, Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi described Kashmir as the “festering sore of South Asia” and urged the US to play a facilitating role in the resolution of the issue but he was quick to add that today there is a realization that a negotiated solution is the only sensible way. He stressed the need for resumption of the composite dialogue. Similar sentiments were expressed by Foreign Minister, Krishna while talking to media at the Indian Mission to United Nation. He reiterated that “India wants to keep Pakistan engaged in talks because we do not see any other alternative”, and “talks are the only way to take this forward”. This reconciliatory mood on the two sides has come at a time when there were reports about Pakistan once again raising Kashmir problem in the United Nations General Assembly.
Though no dates had been decided for the meeting but there have been widespread speculations that the two leaders will be meeting before the commencement of the session. The United States has been very tacitly nudging the two countries to resume the composite dialogue for ironing out their differences and resolving all outstanding disputes, including Kashmir. The United States despite looking at India as its important partner in South Asia sees some of its core foreign policy concerns embedded in India-Pakistan tension. It therefore wants relations between India and Pakistan ‘designed to advance the prospectus of regional peace and stability.’ The United States sees normalization of relations between New Delhi and Islamabad beneficial in more ways than one, besides its concerns in Kabul that it looks at as a gateway to integrated South Asia market linked to energy-rich Central Asia; all this bringing an immense opportunity for US investment. Notwithstanding Washington’s interest in the normalization of relations between these two important South-Asian nuclear powers, New Delhi has been dithering for resumption of the composite dialogue. True, not much can be achieved in the meeting of two foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UN session but it will help in taking out thorn from the neck and paving way for the Foreign Minister meeting that is likely to be held in New Delhi, this October. Though no dates have been fixed for the meeting of the Foreign Ministers in New Delhi, but Foreign Minister Krishna Menon renewed invitation at New York. While appreciating proposed Foreign Ministers meeting in New York and New Delhi there is need for understanding that in the changing world order the two neighbors cannot afford to harbor hostility forever. They will have to come out of hegemonic or belligerent mindsets that has caused three wars between the two countries and work with open minds for resolving all disputes including that of Jammu and Kashmir, amicably on the basis of justice and fair play; even if they need Washington’s mediation for achieving the bigger goal.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 27 Sep 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 27 Sep 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 28 Sep 2010 00:00:00 IST
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