Pak-India talks

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has again accepted an invitation from his Indian counterpart, S.M. Krishna, to visit India, though he has not indicated when he would travel. This is though the meeting between the two Foreign Secretaries, due to take place in Thimphu, Bhutan, on the sidelines of a SAARC committee meeting, has not even taken place. It is only after that meeting that the two sides would decide whether there was any point in taking the meetings to the next level, the ministerial, which would be the occasion of Mr Qureshi going to India. It must be noted how carefully, and cleverly, India has locked Pakistan into a position of going to India for a ministerial meeting. The occasion which was so carefully exploited by India was Mr Qureshi telephoning Mr Krishna to proffer his congratulations on India’s Republic Day, This meant that Pakistan was itself offering the opportunity, because offering the greeting should not have been done in view of two undeniable realities. First, that India and Pakistan have been to war with each other a number of times, and second, India’s Republic Day is marked as a Black Day by those very Kashmiris whose freedom struggle Pakistan is pledged to support.It is possible that Mr Qureshi’s gestures of friendship might be pleasing to the USA, whose dearest wish in the region is to prop India up as a regional counterweight to China, and for that purpose also wishes Pakistan to accept Indian hegemony in the region, something which would not please the people of Pakistan. However, the government to which Mr Qureshi belongs has not shown so far that it has any real concern for the wishes of the people of Pakistan, and would claim even further concessions in the realm of foreign affairs, which Mr Qureshi is responsible for. The precise necessity of talking to India, even though there has not been any promise of results on Kashmir, or even the least indication that it is willing to talk about Kashmir, even though there is currently an intifada there, joined by a fresh generation of Kashmiris – Nation