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Friday, July 29, 2011

Don't get carried away by the looks of Hina

War will never do good for anybody and every possible attempt towards peace must always be made.  India is always a peace loving Nation and its long history is replete with the fact that it has never made attempts to invade foreign territory and keep them as its own. A perfect neighbour to have !!

But don’t ever be overwhelmed by looks or perceptions – peace is desired without squandering the National interests and for achieving it statesmanship and diplomacy are required.  Though past may not be permanent indicator, it does no good to totally forget the past and get carried by the rhetoric.  A day after the meeting between the External Affairs Minister of India SM Krishna with counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar in New Delhi – some media has already started hailing the new era of cooperation in Indo-Pak ties and that two sides have revived the pursuit of an uninterruptible dialogue process. 

What is to be pursued is clear action on fighting  terrorism, no to cross border terrorism, deescalating tension across the Line of control, release of those suffering in the prisons and promoting trade processes across the frontiers.  Some Press went agog on the fashion sense of the visitor, her  Jane Birkin handbag, Chanel sunglasses, her pearls and her diamonds of the good looking representative of Pakistan. 

She is the 26th in the list but the first woman to head the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Pakistan as she did on 20th July 2011.  Hina Rabbani Khar was born in 1977 in Multan and is  the  youngest and first female Minister of Foreign Affairs.   She is the daughter of politician Malik Ghulam Noor Rabbani Khar and niece of Ghulam Mustafa Khar.  She graduated from Lahore and got her post graduation  from the University of Massachusetts in 2001.   Her father  Ghulam Noor Rabbani Khar  was elected Member of National Assembly in 1990 and 1997 from Muzaffargarh. He was also elected member of Punjab Assembly in 1985 and 1988. He served as Provincial Minister of Punjab in Nawaz Sharif Government in Punjab from 1988 to 1990.

Jammu & Kashmir, which is an integral part of India and which has seen lot of international meddling would be a core aspect of Indo Pak relations any time and this time SM Krishna stated that we will continue discussion with a view to find a peaceful solution by narrowing down divergences and finding convergences.  In her address to the media, Khar did not mention the Kashmir issue.  Ahead of her departure for India,  Hina  met Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik in Lahore  and said that genuine Kashmiri leaders ought to be made part of the Indo-Pak dialogue process on Kashmir.  India would certainly like to decide on its own on the peace progress at Kashmir and would certainly be prepared to involve all people of Kashmir but that does not certainly require seconding by the neighbour from where enough trouble has brewed thus far.   Hina reiterated the view of Pak that  Pakistan believes in the resolution of Kashmir issue as per the wishes of the Kashmiris in the light of the United Nations resolutions.”  It is of concern that this  meeting was attended by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and other JKLF leaders.

Though there has been no cooperation from the Pak side on 26/11 attack, Krishna declared that he was satisfied with the resumption of peace process.  History suggests that trouble had brewed earlier even when there had been earnest attempts for dialogue – incursion of Kargil, incursions along the border have time and again had occurred. 

Things like cricket diplomacy could at best be rhetoric but no real measures of peace building.   Though the joint statement touched on some of the aspects, there is real need for countering terrorism on a joint basis and not fanning and abetting cross-border terrorism,  agreements on nuclear CBMs, meaningful resolution of Kashmir,  accepting and respecting the Line of Control, issues of Siachen, Wullar barrage navigation project and Sir Creek and the like. 

Though the media went agog with the age and looks of the visiting dignitary, she chided them for their so called  rhetoric in the discussion on the problem of terrorism, which has soured relations between the two countries.   Khar’s point was that Pakistan is today the one country in the world that faces the challenge of terrorism “on a daily basis, on an hourly basis” but that the Indian media were not reflecting its predicament, but instead focusing excessively on Pakistan’s sponsorship of terrorism in Indian soil.  There were also references to 26/11 Mumbai attack, which seemingly were provocative and made unnecessary comparison with the 2007 bombing of Samjhauta Express.  Can Pak reveal their real designs and the measures taken by them against those abetting cross border terrorism and can they tell with any certainty on the role of ISI / military on the training militants against India.

As a Country Indians are sympathetic with the loss of innocent lives – in any part of the World, be it Norway or Pakistan – but India has no design of sending murderous gangs to wage war in other parts of the World.   Hina Rabbani is young and new but there have been lies and Pak need to demonstrate that their words are true and  genuine !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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