FS talks go nowhere


WEB DESK: Yadav Kulbhoshan’s admission that Raw promotes subversion in Balochistan being the stunning backdrop at least as of now India is reluctant to resume bilateral talks with Pakistan.

We hope it would get over this inhibition sooner than later, but the talks between the foreign secretaries of the two held on the sidelines of Heart of Asia-Istanbul Conference in New Delhi on Tuesday offer little hope.

India remains in denial in walking the Foreign Sectary-level talks, citing the Pathankot airbase incident as the stumbling block. It was India – for reasons not known – which dragged its feet while Pakistan had gone whole hog to help discover the truth by sending its investigators. Only last week, New Delhi had said that the stalled dialogue with Pakistan was not “suspended”, generating hopes that the two of them would announce the date for resumption of talks at their level.

Apparently they seem to have differed with each other in such entirety that instead of a joint statement the two sides issued separate statements. India, as usual, called upon Pakistan ‘to speed up the Pathankot investigations’, by arresting some who it accuses of carrying out that carnage. And, quite weirdly, Indian foreign secretary insists that “Pakistan cannot be in denial on impact of terrorism on bilateral relations,” and, therefore, there would be no bilateral talks. How can Pakistan be in denial in discussing terrorism of which it has been the prime victim, particularly in Balochistan and Karachi, and for all of it India’s Raw being the cat’s paw?

Since continued hostility towards Pakistan has proved to be saleable merchandise with successive governments and the Modi administration was not expected to be an exception, which it is not. If Prime Minister Modi had agreed to resume a comprehensive dialogue covering all important issues, including Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan at Ufa, Russia, we doubt if it was on his own and not a fake offer to win international acclaim. Rightly then nothing in concrete terms has happened between the two countries since then.

In his 90-minute meeting with his Indian counterpart, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry raised three principal issues which tend to impact bilateralism between the two countries. First, it is Kashmir that needs to be resolved in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of Kashmiris. The people of Kashmir refuse to accept Indian control and will never and the latest proof in support of that being the events following the molestation of a Muslim girl by an Indian soldier.

That Narendra Modi has succeeded in stitching up a Vichy regime now headed by Mehbooba Mufti hardly is something that makes for justification of Indian hold. The involvement of Raw in Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan also came under discussion at the meeting, and as expected Indian side rebutted the charge. Having made the ‘mistake’ of admitting that Yadav Kulbhoshan is a senior officer in Indian navy, Foreign Secretary Jaishankar could go no further on that. He stoutly remained stuck in the rut of denial on that.

And if India demands trial of Pakistanis for their alleged part in the Mumbai carnage and the Pathankot airbase attack why should it run away from discussing what happened to the Samjhota Express carnage. Why is New Delhi reluctant to share with Pakistan the investigation report on that incident – just because a senior Indian Army officer was involved? India denies hand in brutalising Kashmiris, it disowns Kulbhoshan’s ‘heroics’, it is preparing to release the Samjohta Express culprits and yet poses to be champion of peace and harmony in South Asia. That is no more possible, given that the veneer of Ghanaian pacifism has worn thin and the world can no more be hoodwinked.

Source: Business Recorder