Indo-Pak talks: Futile effort at diplomacy?

By Reuters Staff
July 16, 2010

A day after the Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers agreed on more talks to rebuild a mutual trust fractured by the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the media on both sides of the border was abuzz with news of the dialogue having collapsed.

Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna (L) and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi take questions from the media during a joint news conference in Islamabad July 15, 2010. REUTERS/Adrees LatifNeither Pakistan’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi nor India’s S.M. Krishna set a date for future talks or announced any concrete measures that might soothe tensions. The Mumbai attacks and recent imposition of curfew in Srinagar remained the stumbling blocks in a dialogue that went on for several hours.

Though Qureshi and Krishna agreed to meet again, the back-and-forth rhetoric both in media or out of it did little to assuage the tension between the nuclear-capable neighbours.

India insists further talks with Pakistan are only possible once Islamabad convinces New Delhi of its intention to prosecute the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks.

India and Pakistan are blaming each other for not achieving a major breakthrough. Both have taken closed-door diplomacy to an expectant media who waste no time in interpreting the hostile undercurrents from their grim faces.

In a press briefing on Friday, Qureshi said India was not mentally prepared for talks and that Krishna kept interrupting talks to take calls from News Delhi.

Former External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh had once said “an accomplished diplomat thinks twice before saying nothing.”

Has the goal of the India-Pakistan talks shifted to aggressive posturing and one-upmanship before the media, taking away from much-needed measures to bridge the trust gap?

Are peace-building measures while a hostile climate exists between New Delhi and Islamabad a futile effort at diplomacy?


The issues between the two neighbors – from Kashmir and Afghanistan to their checkered history – are too complicated and both sides have too much to lose at home if they seen to be compromising their stand. Diplomacy and dialogue are just means to keep tensions from escalating. Peace and normalcy are fanciful words for the region.

Posted by da_bet | Report as abusive

Ha, When Mumbai attacks happenend, Pakistan adopted a policy of doing absolutely nothing and letting some time go thinking that everyone will forget what they did. No, This time we will not forget. No substantial talks until you punish the planners and executors of Mumbai attacks. Show honesty in your approach to destroy the infrastructure of terror in your country, Mr Qureshi. And then complain.

Posted by SunilKumar | Report as abusive

Stop fighting.

Posted by Bluest | Report as abusive

Pakistani rulers thought would be easy to get Kashmir by force and sent armed mercenaries and soldiers in tribal dress. It was the first major action of a newly formed nation; to get land by violence and force. This bad boy violent behavior has unfortunately prevailed till now and spilled over in to demons of terrorism.

The fact of the matter is that they have consistently tried to maintain and whip up Kashmir frenzy turned the region in to a hell hole of intolerance, violence and fanaticism. By their sheer incompetence have pushed the country to such an unenviable corner, how could they be assumed to wise enough to reduce tensions, show true leadership and reduce tensions with India, a very dangerous game in deed.

It is country where general have power to attack with out civil government being aware of such a misadventure. Mushy used Kashmir by mounting an attack earn admiration of people and then staged a coup to get power.

Pakistani army dreads the black day, when India would not be an enemy. That would put an end to its undue power on people and civil government of Pakistan. The Pak army and ISI will do every thing to shout-India is about to attackā€ charade to maintain its vice like grip and resulting demonic powers.

Look at the buffoonery and comedy performed by Shah Mahmood Kureshi! He wants to cozy up to Army and impress on public take him as strongman to take on India. And such comedies have not happened for the first time.

Pakistanis are helpless victims of the grave circumstances brought about so callously, by galaxy of their rulers. Eventually the leaders make nations and societies, by expanding their wider vision and painstakingly working forward to a better society. But what happens when nations, particularly new ones are afflicted with bad leaders, who can only use the stereo types and age old prejudices to rally people around and exploits emotions to get or retain power?

Unfortunately that has happened with out a break and still continues.

Posted by visiontunnel | Report as abusive

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