A pure deception

If Prime Minister Gilani has indeed accepted the invitation of his Indian counterpart to watch the Mohali World Cup semi-final match together with him, he has only provided Dr Manmohan Singh an opportunity to show to the world the beaming faces of the leaders of two countries, which are co-existing happily. By implication, he is telling them that the noises they hear from across Pakistan about contentious issues keeping India and Pakistan at loggerheads have no more substance than hot air. One expected that before falling into the trap, Mr Gilani would have at least recalled the fate of previous such instances. Except for creating a transient air of bonhomie that only helps New Delhi put on show a picture of normalised relations between the two countries, it has little other value. Mr Gilani should have declined the invitation unreservedly, especially as the forthcoming talks hardly promise any movement in the stalemated nature of the various issues.

While there is no disputing the point that dialogue is the best way of resolving disputes among civilised nations, here Islamabad is up against a scheming neighbour, which not only endlessly churns out cooked-up charges of terrorism against it, but also spares no effort to destabilise and create problems for it. On top of that, India has no intention of tackling disputes, in particular Kashmir, to solve them, but only to give the impression that it is seriously interested in getting them out of the way. Against this background and as India-held Kashmir continues to burn, it is worth considering the argument of All Parties Hurriyet Conference Chairman Syed Ali Geelani that by inviting Pakistan leaders to join him at the cricket match, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is only trying to divert attention from Kashmir. The reaction of other Kashmiri leaders to the invitation also rightly sums up the Indian leaders’ mindset: it is an attempt at conveying that they have an open-minded approach to bilateral problems, though, the fact is that in Kashmir they are freely and brutally murdering young, unarmed civilians. – Nation