Saturday, February 26, 2011

Melting Ice Between India and Pakistan

What will be the nature of relationship between India and Pakistan is a mystery. These relations had almost frozen after the Mumbai terror attack. But the ice appears to melt after the foreign ministers and foreign secretaries meetings. However, Pakistan's insistence was to talk on every matter, including Kashmir. But India very rightly demanded to discuss punishment to the Mumbai terror attack perpetrators. The consensus on this was difficult. This time also at the Thimpu conference, the prevailing suspension was anticipated.

An English news channel revealed that the conference proved to be disastrous. This channel termed it a deadly sin, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir's statement that "India cannot control Hindu terrorism." He, however, said that terrorism should not be linked to any religion.

Restraint and Maturity
Now the picture that is emerging shows absolute restraint and maturity on the part of the Indian delegation. In reply to the media persons' query in Thimpu, whether India has agreed to resume talks with Pakistan combined on every issue, Indian Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, quoting William Shakespeare, said: "What is in a name?" It appears that India has agreed to talk on every matter.

For confidence-building, she also suggests several steps such as interaction between people of both countries, antiterrorism steps, control of narcotics smuggling, trading across the Line of Control, peace, security, etc. She also informed about the resolve to transform these steps into practice. She said that Pakistan had been told that the developments about the Samjhauta Express investigations would be communicated to it and that it should also reciprocate in the same manner.

Mutual Cooperation Required
It is true that mutual cooperation is required for good relationship. When asked that Pakistan has denied permission to the Indian Commission to visit there in respect of the 26/11, she said that the two countries should respect each other's laws. Pakistan has replied the note India sent on 3 February, asking for some clarifications.
Collectively, it is a positive situation, but India has clearly told Pakistan that no third-party interference on Kashmir will be allowed in talks. This indicates that the External Affairs Ministry has agreed to talk on Kashmir. This all is changing for better situation.

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