Wednesday, July 29, 2009

India goofed up the joint declaration with Pakistan

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The joint declaration between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani can be literally called a cheap sell out to Pakistan. In fact many leaders of the UPA have criticised the joint declaration between India and Pakistan at Sharm-el-Sheikh on the sides of the NAM summit. The declaration seemed to have been drafted by the Pakistanis with Dr Manmohan Singh without understanding the implications of it.

The biggest goof up was made when Dr Manmohan Singh accepted that action on terrorism should not be linked to the Composite Dialogue process. This means that India and Pakistan would be engaged in bilateral talks even if Pakistan takes no concrete steps against terrorists operating from its soil. This literally means that Pakistan has de-linked terrorism from the talks with India. Terrorism which has been a bone of contention between the two countries for over two decades now can no longer stall bilateral talks.

Another controversial topic has been on the issue of Pakistan's troubled province Balochistan. In the joint declaration India and Pakistan have agreed to work towards peace in the trouble Baloch province. How can the Indian government be involved in Balochistan when it has no links with the terrorism there. This gives Pakistan a chance to point figures at India for encouraging covert operations inside Balochistan and grade RAW on the lines of its dreaded spy agency ISI. The fallout of this, Pakistan is now accusing India for the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.
Nobody doubts Dr. Manmohan Singh's sincerity towards having peace with Pakistan which is extremely important for India's growth but he should not forget he is dealing with a rouge nation. It may sound harsh on all the Pakistanis but the truth is Pakistan has always back stabbed India. Let us not forget what happened after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee drove a bus to Lahore and signed the historic Lahore declaration. Pakistan replied us with Kargil.

The truth is whenever Pakistan has been in a catch 22 situation it has called for such declarations with India. Be it Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent or Indira Gandhi in Shimla, Pakistan has always got away due to the generosity of the Indian leaders. We are dealing with a rouge state and we need to always keep that in mind and stop falling to their peace bait. Dr. Manmohan's intentions might have been to have peace in the region but the fact is we have horribly messed up the Join Declaration.


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