Dr Raja Muhammad Khan
While the Indo-Pak foreign minister level talks were underway in Islamabad on July 15, 2010, Indian Foreign Secretary Ms. Nirupama Rao, made five telephonic calls back home in order to seek clarification and new directive from the New Delhi. Because of these directives, the negotiations ended without making a positive outcome. Otherwise, the arrival of the Khrishna team was full of zest, once he made a statement on his arrival in Pakistan that we have brought a message of good will for the people of Pakistan from the Indian people. Receiving of such like directives and issuing of rabble-rousing statements by Indian team, later in the media, speaks of three things. First, the participants of the talks were not fully prepared for the dialogue, therefore, they were being spoon fed continuously. Secondly, they were not expecting the Pakistani side would be asking for the wholesome talks to include progress on all issues, yet to be resolved, thus have continuously been asking the desire of the Indian Government. Thirdly, the team headed by the Foreign Minister Krishna had little or no authority to make progress on the unresolved issues.
In all eventualities, the talks could not make the headway because of the Indian unfounded and unyielding attitude. This is not the first time that the negotiations between India and Pakistan failed. Tracing back the Agra Summit of July 2001, once former Pakistani President visited India with a lot of hopes and flexibility vested in his hands to make progress on the out-standing issues between both countries. He went to India with lot of clarity, absolute authority, and succinctness. There have been five long and arduous rounds of the discussions, mostly one on one, between the then Indian Prime Minister Mr. AB Vajpayee and Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf.
What went wrong there, during the Agra Summit? It was indeed, a misreporting in the media by then Indian Information Minister, Ms. Shusma Suraj that the talks were focusing mainly on the two issues; the cross border terrorism and the trade and commerce. This wrong reporting in the media even was not in the knowledge of the Indian Premier, who himself got the shock on the statement of his information Minister. Owing this misreporting the Summit failed, in spite, the fact that both leaders did try to evade failure by undertaking late night 80 minutes round of the talks. Unfortunately, the process could not be resumed until the 12th SAARC Summit, held in Islamabad in January 2004. After a lot of hectic diplomacy, both countries resumed the composite dialogue process in 2004. Pakistan showed a lot of flexibility for the resolution of the core issue; the issue of Kashmir, but here prevailed again the Indian hawks, and the basic cause remained unresolved. Going back to history, there took place thirteen rounds of the talks between Bhutto and Swarn Singh in early 1960s, but due to lack of a clear roadmap and authority with the Indian Foreign Minister, no progress could be made.
The basic aim of tracing the brief history of the Indo-Pak negotiations was to uncover the real cause of the failure of the hundreds of the rounds of the talks, ever since 1947. In a democratically ruled government, the power lies with its elected representative to decide about all issues of national interests. They should have the absolute authority vested on to them by the constitution of that country. India claims to be the world biggest democracy, but once its own prime minister or any other minister is unable to take decision, then the question arise, as where lies the real power. Who stopped Prime Minister Nehru to sidetrack his own commitments with the Kasmiris. Who were the hidden hands, which forced Prime Minister AB Vajpyee to succumb in front of his information minister, LK Advani, Jaswant Singh and Yaswant Sinha, all the hawkish minister of his cabinet? Which was the force behind them? Indeed, the same force did not let the Indian Foreign Minister Mr. Khrishna to make a progress on the real issues pending for a solution.
Indeed, the real decision making power in the India lies with its powerful Army, supported by RAW, the Indian spying network having strong bondage with the fundamentalist Hindu mentality, which believes in the “Akhand Bharat”- Greater India concept. What to talk of Kashmir, this powerful Troika, believes in the fact that, the other regional countries of the South Asia including Pakistan should ultimately yield to Indian demands, for making Akhand Bharat; the Greater India. India Hindu strategists consider Afghanistan and Myanmar (Burma) to be its part through this concept. Indian growing influence in Afghanistan is indeed part of this strategy. Now, Indian intelligence network RAW is making a lot of inroads into Myanmar.
This is beyond doubt that the real Indian power lies somewhere else as mentioned above. The so-called Indian democracy is to show the world. It is indeed useless to believe that Indian premiers and ministers like Krishna are going make a decision on issues like Kashmir. They just portray to the world that India is very much interested and believes in the dialogue and negotiations. They are indeed, gaining time and consolidating on to the disputed areas. But, badly failing on winning the hearts and mind of the Kashmiri masses, as evident from the recent violence there. As a piece of advice from the realist’s school of thought, India must accept the reality that, Kashmir is the basic issue and without its resolution as per the wishes of its subjects, there would be no progress on other issues between India and Pakistan. It must stop human right violation in its occupied areas of the state.
—The writer is a South Asian analyst.