Indo-Pak ties

Hindsight tells us that pre and post-election utterances of Nawaz Sharif, by and large, eschewed traditional animus against India. He even talked of normalizing of bilateral relations and expanding trade and commerce. New Delhi very seriously monitored the gestures of good will and prepared to adapt to apparently changing political atmosphere in Islamabad. New Delhi knows that peace will remain an elusive entity in the sub-continent as long as the Army calls the shots in Pakistan. However, hoping against hope, New Delhi rightly decided to give Nawab Sharif’s peace effort a chance and agreed for summit meet in New York. Nawaz Sharif should have naturally extracted a mileage from what the meeting on the sidelines offered. More than six weeks have gone by ever since it was decided to charge the DGMOs to bring about conditions that would restore sanctity of the ceasefire agreement of 2003. There is hardly any cognizable movement in that direction. Secondly, again there is no progress on the side of Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of Mumbai crime to book.
What is more, shortly after landing in Delhi for participation in the Conference, Pakistani dignitary met with the Hurriyat leaders in a closed room. The wide Indian public and most of our political parties including the main opposition BJP expressed their displeasure on the dubious move of the Pakistani dignitary. Their anger springs essentially from the statement of the extremist Ali Shah Geelani of G-faction of Hurriyat in which he said that arms and violence will decide the issue of Kashmir. There has been no repudiation of this statement from Pakistani mission in New Delhi. All that its handout said was the patent rhetoric like Khurshid-Sartaj meeting was constructive. Obviously, Geelani was reflecting the tone and tenor of his interface with Sartaj. By not publicly rejecting Geelani’s assertion, Sartaj has indirectly endorsed what Geelani has said. It is in this context that our national opinion has disparaged Pakistani envoy’s agreeing to meet with the Hurryatis.
Geelani’s abrasive statement that arms and violence would solve Kashmir issue is diametrically opposite to the very fundamentals of the United Nations Charter. It is blank rejection of enormous infrastructure of the UN and world powers to stabilize peace and tranquility in the world. Geelani cannot produce a single example where an issue was resolved through force of arms. He forgets that India and Pakistan are two nuclear powers in the sub-continent. He has also forgotten the consequences of 1971 war.
This apart, the reaction shown by our External Affairs Minister has raised many an eyebrow among political observers and political pundits in the country. It is true that the Hurriyatis have been meeting Pakistani leaders in the past whether in New Delhi or in Islamabad. But it has to be remembered that bilateral dialogue remained suspended for a long time and it was only through the intervention of friendly powers that the ice was broken and the summit meet happened in New York. That happened in the background of great tension created by Pakistan on the LoC and by sending in fidayeen to conduct Samba attack. The situation was tense and delicate and India was thinking of giving a befitting reply. To de-escalate the tense situation and create congenial atmosphere was a stupendous task. To give peace another chance and to provide space to Nawaz Sharif for renewed and refurbished efforts of inducting normalcy in Indo-Pak relations, PM Singh agreed to meet his counterpart in NY. In the background of this broad scenario, Pakistan needed to desist from all moves and activities which would undermine peace effort. It did and meeting with the Hurriyatis is the spoil sport.


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