From LoC into UN

Just when India and Pakistan seemed on the rebound from the fallout from recent skirmishes on the Line of Control, the two countries have again sparred over Kashmir at the United Nations. This time over the UN Military Observer Group on the LoC with New Delhi saying the observer group has been overtaken by 1972 Shimla Accord and Islamabad insisting the force still had a role. Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Masood Khan asserted that no bilateral agreement between the two nations has overtaken or affected “the role or legality” of the observer group. This isn’t first time that the two countries have clashed at the world body.  Last year, during the General Debate of the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee, Pakistan said that the UN’s decolonization agenda would remain incomplete without the resolution of Kashmir and India reiterated that Kashmir was an integral part.  Or for that matter, Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari’s  reference to Kashmir in his General Assembly speech as “the symbol of the failure of UN system” drew similar sharp reaction from the then foreign minister S M Krishna. While it is unlikely that the bitter exchanges at UN would affect the tenor of their current engagement, they do indeed spoil the atmospherics. At the same time, the recurrence of the tension over Kashmir is a constant reminder that the two countries will need to give due space to the settlement of the long-festering political disputes to complement their ongoing thrust on forging an economic relationship. Only such an approach can safeguard dialogue from the intermittent treacherous turns in their relationship occasioned by the incidents along LoC or a terror attack. What recent developments have underlined for the umpteenth time is that any attempt to build a relationship on the strength of trade  and travel is destined to fail. Only way out is to make the dialogue inclusive of all the issues dividing the two countries and then work towards more or less simultaneous progress on them. And, of course, this dialogue has to be “uninterrupted and uninterruptible” for it to reach its logical conclusion, which is to enable the two countries to finally come to terms with each other.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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