I don’t know how perfect is my analogy of a football match to the recently concluded Indo-Pak talk between the foreign ministers of both the countries. But it is the closest analogy possible, i suppose. On the 2nd June, I had written a blog post “Is restoring trust possible?” on the proposed resumption of the talks between the two most estranged neighbours of the South Asia. The recent talk between SM Krishna and SM Qureshi answered the question posed in that blog that restoring trust is impossible under the present circumstances. The July 15 meeting was not part of any structured dialogue and its objective was to check if the conditions are positive to start effective dialogue again. The answer, it seems, is negative.
No country gained anything from the meeting. India, as expected, stuck to the terror line where as Pakistan wanted to put every other outstanding issue on the discussion table. The match ended with a goalless draw(which most of us expected) but the Pakistani side seemed to have forgotten, what they call, fair-play. The Pakistan foreign minister’s statements exemplified discourteous and ungracious attitude of the Pakistan govt.
God knows why the host country foreign minister accused the guest foreign minister even when the latter was still on the host country’s land. There is no doubt that India and Pakistan do not have good relationship and the statements were quite expected as we have heard such statements in the past too when a talk fails(which happens quite often). But it is a matter of shame for the Pakistani govt. that they forgot the minimum courtesy to at least wait for Krishna to return to India before making insulting statements against him. Qureshi accused Krishna to be unprepared for the talks, getting instructions from Delhi on phone during the meeting. Can these statements not made after Krishna’s return to India? From the statements of Qureshi, it seems that the talks were part of a script written by the Pak govt. to drive home the point that they are strong and will never bow to India. They wanted to show their people that they are aggressive and don’t fear India. It may be due to the fact that Pakistan’s offer for talks were widely criticized in Pakistan. Consider Qureshi’s this statement.
I led Pakistan’s team and I didn’t need to make even a single phone call (to Pakistan leaders) during the day-long talks. Krishna is the principal for giving direction to foreign policy (but) why were directions being sent repeatedly from Delhi? Who is the top foreign policy adviser for India?
The statement undermines the authority of India’s External Affairs Minister and insults India. That is what Pakistan wanted. Any insult to India means a matter of joy for the hardliners (Read Army) present in Pakistan. Army’s hand behind such a script is quite possible. (Pak wriggling out of talks under pressure from army?)
Another shocking statement by Qureshi was to compare the statement of Home Secretary GK Pillai with that of the Hafeez Saeed. SM Krishna did well to rebut it by saying,
Where is the comparison between the statements? Hafiz Saeed is a person who has been speaking out of turn against India. He has been crying for jihad against India and we have always said that such people in Pakistan who incite hostile and anti-India propaganda will not smoothen relationship
But he could have done this in the Pakistan too. His silence there did not serve any purpose. But Qureshi’s statement was as uncalled for as that of Pillai.
Considering the insult India faced from an unproductive talk, it is highly desirable to tell Pakistan in clearer terms that talks can only be productive if they are done in a friendly atmosphere, not in an insulting one. Talks producing results are impossible under present circumstances and India should wait before starting another round of fresh talks. Pakistan needs to be shown the red card for its foul play.
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