Pakistan playing to gallery in publicising Kashmir issue: Former envoy

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) Pakistan is perhaps playing to the gallery in raising and publicing the Kashmir issue, former Indian high commissioner in Islamabad S.K. Lambah said at a discussion between former envoys of the two countries here on Friday.

“At times it becomes comic. The foreign secretaries during their talks would perhaps discuss Kashmir for half a minute. But there would be a 10-minutes briefing on the issue after the meeting,” he said.

To which former Pakistan envoy to India Ashraf Jehangir Qazi retorted in a lighter vein that a little comical relief is also necessary to ease tensions between the two nations.

Former envoys from both sides including Shiv Shankar Menon, G. Parthasarthy, Lambah, Salman Bashir, as well as Aziz Ahmed Khan and Qazi were taking part in a discussion organised by think tank Ananta Aspen Centre, moderated by veteran journalist Karan Thapar and telecast on India Today news channel on Friday.

On the question of Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi’s impromptu visit to Lahore in late December to meet his counterpart Nawaz Sharif, Menon said it was a move worth making.

“I think it was a move worth making and this is a way you can move ahead. However, soon after that Pathankot happened,” he said, referring to the January 2 terrorist attack on a Indian Air Force base in the Punjab town near the India-Pakistan border.

The issue of India’s alleged interference in Pakistan’s Balochistan province and alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav also cropped up during the discussion.

“Pakistan has been raising the issue of India’s involvement in Balochistan but we did not have substantive eveidence to prove after point before Jadhav’s arrest,” said Aziz Ahmed Khan.

Parthasarathy however dismissed the allegations, asking why would India send across a RAW spy to Pakistan with an India passport.

Khan retorted: “Why not if the passport may make an alibi.”

The diplomats from both sides agreed that despite all the differences, allegations and counter-allegations, the only way out was talks and that the jerk-and-start approach was in nobody’s interests. They agreed that there should be continuity in the bilateral talks.

“We need to pick up where we left. A lot of work was done during UPA’s regime,” Bashir said.

Parthasarathy said that the present government under Modi is making the right moves in the bilateral relations.

“Prime Minister Modi has made a lot of headway and he is doing the right thing by keeping larger part of India-Pakistan diplomacy away from media glare,” he said.


  1. It appears that the Indian leadership over the years have been dumb and stupid to not realize that talking with the Pakistani Prime Minister, Foreign Minister or the Foreign Secretary is talking to the wrong people because, unlike India, their Army Chief can veto and torpedo various the peace talks. Has the Pakistani Prime Minister got the guts to keep their Army Chief under his control? He cannot try that or he will be put in the “bin bhadey ka kholi.”

    By raking up the Kashmir issue, the military establishment has been able to gobble up a large percentage of their total budget outlay and their “Officer Cadre” are running a parallel economy under the Fauzi Enterprise. If the Kashmir issue is solved, then Pakistan will have to cut down their military spending, which means reduction of their military strengths and military budget.

  2. I fail to understand why Narendra Modi’s government is frittering away taxpayers’ monies in talking to Pakistan which, realistically speaking, is an exercise in futility. Dr. Manmohan Singh, world’s most highly educated statesman, was a puppet in Sonia Gandhi’s hands. Similarly, Nawaz Sharif is also a puppet in Gen. Rahil Sharif’s hands. When will the Prime Minister, the government and the people realize this basic and vital fact. Nawaz Sharif is performing as a dummy Prime Minister, after yielding absolute powers to Gen. Sharif, so that he can amass still further wealth through ill-gotten means. Even when he goes to London and lives in his mansion there, he cannot walk freely on that city’s streets and has to be protected by many Pakistani bouncers, for the simple reason that he is abused, insulted and heckled by people of Pakistani origin, including people of Azad Kashmir. I would not be surprised that if he is not protected by these bouncers, frustrated and angry people will pounce upon him.

    Mr. Nawaz Sharif is hanging on to the Prime Minister’s chair, because he is shameless and corrupt. Every day, he is increasing his ill-gotten wealth. Nawaz Sharif, when he travels abroad, takes his wife and all the family members with him at taxpayers’ expense, because he does not want to leave them alone, fearing a military coup.

    Again, it is noteworthy to note that after the debacle and misadventure in Kargil by that poor strategist and tactician, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who pleaded and begged Nawaz Sharif to go to Washington to solve this crisis and save face, Nawaz Sharif went to Washington to meet Bill Clinton with his entire family. So scared and frightened he was about his and his family’s fate. If Nawaz Sharif was sensible, he would have told Gen. Musharraf, “This is a misadventure created by you, so please come with me a personally explain to President Clinton.” President Clinton met him only after two days.

    Again, Dr. Manmohan Singh was shameless to perform as a dummy Prime Minister, when everything was controlled by Sonia Gandhi and her son, because he got the opportunity to sit on that chair and travel many countries.

    In most countries, the civilian leadership controls the military establishment, but in Pakistan it is the Army that controls the country and the government and calls the shots.

    Any intelligent Prime Minister and government can bring Pakistan to its knees without going to war. Just stop trading with that country, cut down the size of diplomatic mission in that country and vice versa, stop issuing visas to Pakistanis (only children who need emergency medical aid and surgeries, accompanied by their parents), stop overflights.

    From what I understand, India has a navy of over 200 vessels, A flotilla of vessels should patrol the international waters across Pakistan and stop merchant vessels going to and coming from Pakistani ports to inspect their cargoes and impound vessels that are carryng arms, etc. In order to tie up the Pakistani forces, India should constantly do smalls, medium and heavy arms fire across the border. Pakistan will just bleed and crumble like a cookie and come to the negotiating table in a position of weakness.

    Indian diplomatic missions should be instructed by MEA to cut down their social interactions, especially with NRIs and spend most of the time exposing Pakistan with documentary and other evidence as a nation that breeds terrorists and exposes terrorism.

  3. I went through the Youtube and was surprised to learn about the plight of people living by the roadside or woods in tents without sanitation, electricity, water and living on handouts and my heart goes out for them and feel sorry. May Almighty help them and show them a way out. Many of these people are educated or have useful trade skills and due to poor governmental policies have fallen on hard times. Some of them are living off their vehicles.

    I judge those countries that have least disparitiesry in wealth and where everyone has all the comforts of life, as the best economies. In India, we have showmen like Vijay Mallya (flaunting their wealth earned through their businesses and also ripping the banks for thousands of crores) at one end of the scale and people living in extreme poverty and penury due to faminine, lack of water to irrigate their farms, etc. at the other end of the scale. However, as per BCCI/IPL honchos the show should go on, irrespective of drought stricken farmers live or commit suicide. The other day, Ravi Shastri was bragging that IPL is international brand and can be played away from India.

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