Friday, April 30, 2010

THIMPU TALKS: DOWNGRADING TERRORISM AS CORE ISSUE ONCE AGAIN

B.RAMAN


"Both Prime Ministers recognized that dialogue is the only way forward. Action on terrorism should not be linked to the Composite Dialogue process and these should not be bracketed. Prime Minister Singh said that India was ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan, including all outstanding issues."--- From the joint statement issued by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani on July 16,2009, at the end of their talks at Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt.


" The two Prime Ministers decided to ask their Foreign Ministers and Foreign Secretaries to first discuss the modalities of restoring trust and confidence in bilateral ties. That would pave the way for talks on all issues of mutual concern. We don't have to be stuck with nomenclatures. This does the relationship no good. Dialogue is the only way forward to open channels of communications and restore trust and confidence.....They agreed to assess the current state of affairs and then to start afresh on the way forward. The focus is on charting a course forward so that the searchlight is on the future and not on the past."---From the remarks made by Mrs.Nirupama Rao, India's Foreign Secretary, at the end of the talks between the two Prime Ministers at Thimpu in Bhutan on April 29,2010.

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From the above quotes relating to the meetings of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani at Sharm-el-Sheikh in July last and at Thimpu on April 29,2010, it is evident that Dr.Manmohan Singh has once again conceded at Thimpu as he had done at Sharm-el-Sheikh Pakistan's point of view that India's dissatisfaction over the perceived lack of action by Pakistan against the "terror machine" in Pakistan as the Foreign Secretary put it should not be allowed to stand in the way of a resumption of the dialogue on other issues of importance. The terrorist strike by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) in Mumbai in November, 2008, should not be allowed to continue to cast its shadow over the future relations between the countries. That is the meaning of the remark of the Foreign Secretary that the searchlight should be on the future and not on the past. While India will continue to press Pakistan for action against the LET and the Pakistan-based conspirators now facing trial before a Pakistani anti-terrorism court for their involvement in the 26/11 terrorist strike, it will no longer link this to the question of the resumption of the dialogue on all issues of mutual concern.


2. Having succeeded in making Dr.Manmohan Singh de-link the terrorism issue from the dialogue issue, Pakistan is now trying to change the very nature of the approach on the terrorism issue by projecting it as a global issue and not just a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. During his interaction with the Pakistani media at Islamabad after returning from Thimpu, Mr.Shah Mehmood Quereshi, the Pakistani Foreign Minister, has sought to downgrade the priority attached to the terrorism issue. "The Hindu" of May 1,2010, has reported as follows: : "As for India's concern about terrorism, his counter was that it was a global concern and would be best addressed collectively."


3. Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister, had made it clear during his meeting with Pervez Musharraf at Islamabad in January,2004, that the terrorism issue was the core issue for India and that progress on other issues of interest to Pakistan would depend on the progress on the terrorism issue. At the Havana meeting in September,2006, Musharraf succeeded in removing this linkage by making Dr.Manmohan Singh agree that the terrorism issue was of common concern to both India and Pakistan. It ceased to be a core issue of exclusive concern to India.


4. At Sharm-el-Sheikh as well as at Thimpu, Mr.Gilani has succeeded in downgrading the primary importance of the terrorism issue and now Mr. Quereshi has proceeded a step further by projecting it as a global issue and not a bilateral issue. What, in fact, he has said is, let the bilateral dialogue focus on issues of concern to Pakistan and let the terrorism issue be dealt with multilaterally in appropriate fora.


5. Dr. Manmohan Singh has repeatedly failed to project the Pakistan State-sponsored terrorism as the core concern of India which has to be addressed first before there can be progress on other issues.His over-keenness for a dialogue with Pakistan and his repeated failure to counter the Pakistani strategy of playing down the importance of the terrorism issue are not serving India's interests. They are strengthening the impression in the minds of the civilian and military leaders in Pakistan that it can sponsor any act of terrorism against Indian nationals and interests in the Indian territory or Afghanistan and get away with it.


6. Unless the Pakistani leadership is disabused of this impression through appropriate political, diplomatic and covert actions, our nationals will continue to bleed at the hands of Pakistan-sponsored terrorists. No one is against the resumption of a comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan, but the conditions under which the talks are to be resumed should protect our nationals and our core concerns. One does not have the impression this is being done. ( 1-5-2010)


( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

14 comments:

Sandeep said...

Dear Sir,

The institutions formulating Indian policies are virtually defunct - any contrary point of view or a word of caution is considered and a purge happens. ( Mr Menon ascension to Secretary and later as NSA ,raises lots of concern)

The debate has been reduced to the TV studios or the cocktail party circuit of New Delhi.

Some how we have tied ourselves in the 'Knot' of 'Nice Guy' image. Why do we need this certificate? Before every key meetings, statements refering to 'Nice Guy' to do business are issued by US and Pakistan.

There has been a concerted effort to distance Mr Singh from the Government and political party. Some thing he supports by his silence.

Referring to Mr Gilani as spiritual person whose ancestors laid the foundation of Golden Temple, did we forget the other Gilani of 26 \11, who bombed those very foundations.

The sight of MMS clutching Gilani with both of his hands ,as if he is his saviour was very embarrassing.

As a prime minister, MMS must put an end to these nice guy & such romantic talk to start with.

Restore institutional balance and respect dissenting views.

Else history will judge him as well-intentioned but a naive Prime Minister - Dhritrashtra who let Draupadi to be gambled upon & later disrobed.

We are looking for 'Man Mohan'- the 'chaliya'- worldly wise.

Best Regards

Sandeep

Sandeep said...

Dear Sir,

The institutions formulating Indian policies are virtually defunct - any contrary point of view or a word of caution is considered a block and a purge happens. ( Mr Menon ascension to Secretary and later as NSA ,raises lots of concern)

The debate has been reduced to the TV studios or the cocktail party circuit of New Delhi.

Some how we have tied ourselves in the 'Knot' of 'Nice Guy' image. Why do we need this certificate? Before every key meetings, statements refering to 'Nice Guy' to do business are issued by US and Pakistan.

There has been a concerted effort to distance Mr Singh from the Government and political party. Some thing he supports by his silence.

Referring to Mr Gilani as spiritual person whose ancestors laid the foundation of Golden Temple, did we forget the other Gilani of 26 \11, who bombed those very foundations.

The sight of MMS clutching Gilani with both of his hands ,as if he is his saviour was very embarrassing.

As a prime minister, MMS must put an end to these nice guy & such romantic talk to start with.

Restore institutional balance and respect dissenting views.

Else history will judge him as well-intentioned but a naive Prime Minister - Dhritrashtra who let Draupadi to be gambled upon & later disrobed.

We are looking for 'Man Mohan'- the 'chaliya'- worldly wise.

Best Regards

ambi said...

i again & again request BJP to play its role. Now we are not going to stop till this govt falls or Manmoham Singh & S M krishna is sacked. Enough is enough now. Manmohan Singh has clearly crossed red line.

Manmohan has again & again proved that he is not a man of honour. He can not keep his word. He is a very cunning guy behaving as a soft spoken saint. He had promised on the floor of the House that India will not initiate talks with Pakistan till Pakistans dismantles terror infrastructure in its borders. what happened to that promise now?

Come on BJP we need you guys. Pls dont allow this govt to function. Create chaos. manmohan needs to be punished. this betrayal should cost him his post. we are not going to allow him & his gang to fool us. it shld cost him his job. no less than that.

what u BJP guys are doing. pls do something.I beg of u. Do jail bharo aandolans. Paralyse the parliament. do something guys. do something. make an example out of manmohan.

shaan said...

Is Manmohan Singh a CIA man? I have this doubt for a long time.

Broadway said...

This is what you get when you have no opposition - a single party ruling for a long time. They get used to power and won't let it go that easily. Remember the good old emergency days? That's were we heading.

We already know that congress has reached a stage were it does whatever it wants, objections be damned. But this particular juncture is different. Now it seems that MMS has reached a stage where he does whatever he wants, congress be damned.

The pakistani's too have been taunting us over that by praising MMS as a man of vision, peace etc etc

Pakistan has only one ball to play. That ball is to force india to talk. It wants to talk on kashmir. It wants to relate the entire regional disturbances with kashmir. It wants india to reduce troop presence in kashmir so that it can launch attacks and bully the people into submission. It wants to talk about water which it claims is being stolen by india.

We already know that india is weak in diplomacy wrt pakistan. What we dearly need is a stand. If india has taken a stand of "no talks unless action on terror" then it needs to stick to that stand. Problem is our diplomats are easily coerced. Even our PM does not stick to a stand. He changes it at his will.

These are the sort of people india relies on? What shame. Your blunders keep multiplying. MMS better be accountable for all of it. He should rightly take it on his conscience. The people that died in mumbai is because MMS didn't ensure that they were protected. The people who will continue to die in the future too shall rest on his conscience.

I will calmly ask him and his party to step aside and let others engage with pakistan. I do not expect them to go down without a fight. Let there be an emergency. The people asked for it.

ambi said...

We already know that congress has reached a stage were it does whatever it wants, objections be damned. But this particular juncture is different. Now it seems that MMS has reached a stage where he does whatever he wants, congress be damned.


dear broadway, well said mate.

Crypton said...

You can choose your friends, but you cannot choose your neighbors. I'd request everyone here to think of the situation diplomatically and not let your emotions get in the way.

Ambi, who seems to be a supporter of the BJP or probably works for them IMO, has gone all out and made the most absurd claims and statements that baffles me beyond comprehension.

The government is doing all it can in the best interest of our country, the diplomacy, the tactics which seem absurd to us are far beyond our comprehension. I am sure our Hon'ble Prime Minister is not working for the CIA and does not want another Mumbai 9/11 to happen. The idea is to not keep pressurizing Pakistan with its growing support, we are vocally taking a stand against the Pakistan sponsored terror in full spirit, but, there is only so much we can do with a neighbor who is not ready to accept the facts.

Refrain from making childish claims as let us attack Pakistan or deal with them with a heavy hand, international issues have to be dealt with supreme diplomacy and not with barbarism, such that has been displayed by countries like Iran and China. We are a developing country and Pakistan is a nuclear armed country, we need to deal with them tactfully.

At this stage, we have every neighbor of ours against us, it is about time we changed that.

It is time we head into peace talks and hope for a peaceful future, ofcourse with full insurance that nothing against our nation will be plotted on their (read Pakistan) land or sponsored by the ISI.

Ambi, who has vowed to spread anti-congress propaganda should rethink what grave dangers our secular country faces in the hands of BJP. We do not want our men to turn against eachother, we'd rather fight with the neighbors than fight amongst ourselves.

To think about it, Ambi's remarks are going against the Constitution of India (Clause 2-6, Article 19). The fundamental right of freedom of speech does not allow him to propagate anti-national, violent movements against the central government, his IP should be reported to the concerned authorities and he should be banned from further posting on this blog.

The blog's title is Strategic Analysis, be strategic and not foolish.

ambi said...

Dear Crypton, yes I always voted for BJP.

Idiot & Childish that I am. Pls.forgive me. You seem to be Pakka Congressi to me.

You want to tell me that a state which is totally dependent on outsiders for everything, has nothing of its own & can’t function beyond a month without outsiders support has more cards in their hands than India? Then I don’t know who out of two of us is an idiot?

Do you really believe that Pakistan can afford peace with us? Oh dear oh dear, God bless you! Pakistan has realized that it needs friendship with India but still showing aggressive posturing. Why? Dear! The day they will make peace with us, that day they ll cease to exist as a functional state.

Pakistan Army knows this. Pakistan is functional only till it harasses & bleeds its neighbours. What Border they had in Punjab that they supported Khalistani insurgency? What border problem they had with Assam that they earlier supported Hindu ULFA? They consider India as enemy cause they are Hindus. But they have no problem going cozy with Nepal a majority Hindu state.

Oh dear the day Pakistan will make friendship with India, China will dump them the very moment. Even US will lose interest in it. All funding & infrastructure projects will stop at once. Pakistan Army knows that they can never fight India in all out battle. Still to keep getting funded from China they have to prove that they are potent enough to engage & bleed Indians. Kargil, Parliament attack, 26.11 attack are prime examples of that strategy. The day they will stop engaging & bleeding India they ll be irrelevant for China. Do you really believe that they want to solve Kashmir. No honey. Kashmir issue allows them to maintain their terror infrastructure legitimately. Cause if K thing is solved they have no reason to bleed India. That’s why they are clinging to Kashmir issue.

Speaking of which reminds me what a Pakistani soldier yelled while fighting Indian forces in Kargil: Give us Madhuri Dixit, n take back Kargil. Who wants this barren land any ways?

The day they ll stop harassing & bleeding Iran they will be lose funding from Saudi Arabia & US. Oh dear this is the country which cant afford to buy peace with its neighbors if it wants to survive.

You believe that US needs Pakistans support on WOT. Are you mad? They want Pakistan to ensure that Iran bleeds.

Ink has not even dried on the signed agreements in Thimpu & NCR is already on a high alert. I assure you Manmohan Singh will be resigning inspite of terrorists attack takes place or not. He needs to be punished. Before him we had a civilian dictator called Mr. Nehru. He was a one man show. He used to direct all the ministries as per his whims & fancies. Todays all of Indias strategic disasters is gift with love from him. We are still paying the price of it. We just cant afford another Nehru again.

Sandeep said...

Hi Crypton,

Why threat of reporting, blocking a person's IP!! Let us be tolerant to views irrespective of the political shades and arguments.

The great danger India has is from the fascism of shallow secularism. Recalling an old proverb- "only a fool threatens and a fool gets threatened".

We understand that strange are the ways of international diplomacy and the stranger the ways of people dealing with it.

However, the hallmark of a leader is communication &ability to inspire confidence.

Gandhiji, thru his communication skills -was able to make vast majority of illiterate poor Indians to rise and follow counter intuitive subject of non violence , tolerance and 'freedom & dignity'. Incomprehensible to simple people worried only about survival and earning 2 meals. They inspired people to rise and follow them irrespective of the odds.

We are missing this communication skill , ability to share the vision and taking our nation along.

We are witnessing mediocrity from the Television Studios , editorials, glib arguments..... sterile TV camera and audience is not our Nation.

Where is the India of Tagore---
"Where the world has not been broken up

into fragments by narrow domestic walls;

Where words come out from the depth of truth;

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

Where the clear stream of reason

has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; "

Kind Regards

Sandeep

Broadway said...

@Crypton
Stop attacking people by labelling them. There are making no point by calling them pro-bjp or anti-congress. They are people who are concerned about there country. That's why talk about them on forums and blogs. The congress supporters are busy elsewhere on facebook and orkut. That's your reality check.

This current administration has no stand whatsoever. If has proved pathetic wrt diplomacy. The bjp have there own set of problems but they handled there foreign policy far better than these current morons.

The free speech that you talk about... article 19(2) is a corrupted version of free speech. It says that "a person is free to say whatever he wants as long as it doesn't hurt anyone's belly". In simple words, it means that there is no free speech in india.

The lack of this fundamental right has pushed many indians to move there thoughts and opinions elsewhere where they cannot be prosecuted for these foolish and selfish laws.

All mediums have been blocked or contained or monitored - print and audio visual. Some news channels are remote control by political parties while others are run by people who are crypo supporters at heart.

With so much restriction, the internet has proved a way out of the current "staged" india.

Any and every indian who wishes to speak out against the system and the govt. knows he can do that on the internet without being bullied or threatened.

They have taken everything away. People of india on the internet or anywhere who are aware of the tightening noose around them should use all possible means to safeguard internet freedom. Remember, all indian wire services have been compromised. The internet is the your last source of unadulterated information and and a channel where you can speak your thought without the fear of the noose hanging around your head. Fight for it and use it while it's unrestricted. Do not let them break you.

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Broadway said...

And oh yes...
I forgot to mention...

STOP TERMING CONGRESS'S SERENDIPITIES AS "CHANAKYAN" DIPLOMACY.

I don't know what the hell is wrong with some people. Maybe they have trouble in judging actions. Just because the congress has no game plan or doesn't act tough doesn't mean you should smell a "chanakyan" approach in each one of there actions.

What happened in sharm-el-sheikh was a "screw up". It was by no way anything remotely close to "chanakyan" diplomacy. Stop pretending to be stupid.

Raghu said...

What's with the chink emails on this website?

Sarang said...

Hi Crypton,

What 'diplomacy' are you referring to in your comment? Tell me one diplomatic victory scored by UPA in the last 8 years? All it has done is time and again compromised on the core values and diplomatic positions of the country, embarrassing this nation of 1.2 billion at every international meet. Where has international diplomacy gone our way? Afghanistan, Indian state of J&K, America, Russia, Iran, China, Australia? The list of failures and compromises is endless while the list of achievements is empty!
Even the Maoists have started dreaming of painting Delhi red...why won't Pakistan dream of painting it Green? And why do you need anyone else? Dr. Manmohan Singh's own Parliament buddies are cross and won't allow any bill to pass through...due to his ineffectual style of leadership the progress of the whole country is stalled.

About being pro or anti Congress, I voted for UPA myself in the last elections....and maybe then it was wise to teach a lesson to the BJP who were acting too communal...but the time has come to be nationalistic! UPA's time is over! (Unless it can pull off any miracle in the remaining 4 years) The youth of this country are saying so...hope you join in the tide too.