Foreign Secretaries Talks:Who is going to rock the boat this time?
June 24, 2011
All is set to arrange beautiful bouquets for the discussion table to make Foreign Secretaries’ talks between India and Pakistan more cordial. We would be having our friends from India on 23-24 June 2011, who fail to understand that why Pakistan is not blaming New Delhi for the cold blooded murder of Saleem Shahzad, Pakistani Olympian Abrar Hussain and terrorist attacks in Karachi and other cities.
Pakistan also want New Delhi to discuss the outstanding issues including plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir to allow Kashmiris to express their right to self determination, the issue of Rann of Kutch, Siachin and rights of minorities in India.
The situation in Sindh is also not hidden from anyone, but not even a single official word from Islamabad has been heard. One expects breakthrough after Islamabad’s softer tone with New Delhi on various issues, and preventing anyone to use its soil against its traditional enemy. But there are serious doubts that New Delhi would ever be able to step outside the briefing and talking points handed over to Indian Foreign Ministry by Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Military Intelligence (MI). Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao cannot utter a single sentence on her own during her meeting with Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir. We have seen the fate of Madhuri Gupta and letters of displeasures to a number of diplomats.
As expected, New Delhi would focus on Mumbai attacks and would highlight points US agencies claim to have extracted from an absconder from Pakistan Army namely Tahawur Hussain Rana. One really wonders if a person is not loyal to the Armed Forces of a country, how can he risk his life to work for the intelligence agencies or banned organization of the same country? The CIA agents, David Coleman Headley alias Daood Geelani and Tahawur Hussain Rana are enemies of Pakistan, and the government of Pakistan has announced reward on them. Long time back, cases against them were filed in the police stations and their arrest was ordered.
It is irony that India would rely on the evidences by these two dubious persons. It can be checked from the files of Indian intelligence agencies what they had been doing in Mumbai. The witnesses are also there that neither they had any link with any religious party nor any Jehadi organization. Had these individuals been the members of Lashkar-e-Tayyiaba, they would not be having such stinky characters. What India would say about the links of these individuals with Indian Bollywood stars and officials of Intelligence Bureau? As usual, hype has been created. Last time it was cross firing on the Line of Control (LoC), each side blaming the other for the aggression, and this time it is the issue of Navies of these countries. What a smart way to lead the talks towards failure.
This time there was hope for progress in the talks, but again the armed forces of both the countries are entangled in a new controversy. Islamabad claims that PNS Babur, which is part of the international combined task force on anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, had been escorting MV Suez, when the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Godavari moved dangerously close to PNS Babur and brushed against it almost 100 nautical miles east of Port Salalah. Interestingly, both the warships were providing cover for MV Suez that has released 22 hostages on board after 10 months in captivity, including eleven Egyptians, six Indians, four Pakistanis and one Sri Lankan. INS Godavari claims that it had joined up with MV Suez on 16 June 2011 to escort the ship. Obviously, this incident would have some impact and there are chances of self engineered other incidents of infiltration of terrorists or firing at LoC that may change the canvas of the talks. Of course, such grievances are not going to allow the talks to end in a success story. One really believes that one should keep on talking, irrespective of the results, but how long the Foreign Offices and the governments would continue playing in the hands of intelligence agencies.
A new chapter of misunderstanding and suspicion has been created. If we look back at the record of the talks, each time something goes wrong that fails the talks. We have a lot of hope from Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, and if she is able to break the deadlock, her name will be written with golden words in the history of both the countries. If we recall, it was Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna in New York September last, when he said that Pakistan must fulfill its commitment of not allowing its territory to be used for terrorism directed against India. He said: “Pakistan cannot impart lessons to us on democracy and human rights… if Pakistan fulfills its commitments, it would significantly help reduce the trust deficit between the two countries.” He added: “We are neighbours, and as neighbours, we have an obligation to work together.” What Pakistan wants from India is simple, “Just allow us to live our lives on the basis of our own ideology.”
Pakistan also want New Delhi to discuss the outstanding issues including plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir to allow Kashmiris to express their right to self determination, the issue of Rann of Kutch, Siachin and rights of minorities in India. The western countries, from whom we got independence after so many sacrifices, would never like that our problems are solved and we live like friends and good neighbours. What CIA, Mossad and DIA are doing in India and Pakistan is no more a secret. One must ask a question “are we sincere to our country. If the answer is in affirmative, we must solve all pending issue without delay and come out of the spell of our enemies.