India to discuss Kashmir in 'open' Pakistan talks

By AFP
Published: March 4, 2011
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Indian PM Manmohan Singh says all disputes including Kashmir will be discussed. PHOTO: AFP

Indian PM Manmohan Singh says all disputes including Kashmir will be discussed. PHOTO: AFP

JAMMU: India’s prime minister said Friday he was approaching new peace talks with Pakistan with an “open mind”, saying all disputes including Kashmir would be discussed.

New Delhi and Islamabad announced on February 10 that they would resume full peace talks which were suspended more than two years ago after gunmen from Pakistan attacked India’s financial capital Mumbai.

“We wish to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries through friendly dialogue and constructive and purposeful negotiations,” Manmohan Singh said at a function at a university in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir.

“This includes the issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said in Jammu, Kashmir’s winter capital which has been largely unaffected by an Islamic insurgency that flared in the Muslim-majority region in 1989.

Kashmir is divided between the two countries along a de facto border, but is claimed in full by both.

Former Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was slated to visit India in July at the start of the full-scale resumption of talks before he was removed from his post in the cabinet reshuffle.

Ties between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, which have fought two of their three wars since 1947 over Kashmir, have been dogged by border and resource disputes, and accusations of Pakistani militant activity in India.

“We are willing to discuss all issues that have a bearing on the peace, dignity and well-being of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh added.

Indian Kashmir last year saw some of its biggest protests against Indian rule, leaving more than 110 protesters dead, mostly in police firings on stone-throwing young men.

“This subcontinent of ours will not realise its full development potential unless relations between India and Pakistan are normalised,” Singh said.

India and Pakistan embarked on a formal peace dialogue in 2004, which continued until the rupture caused by the Mumbai attacks, blamed by India on Pakistan-based militants.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • ILLIDAN
    Mar 4, 2011 - 5:09PM

    This subcontinent of ours will not
    realise its full development potential
    unless relations between India and
    Pakistan are normalised,

    For a change, its good to see someone talking about the subcontinent as a whole and not India or Pakistan alone!Recommend

  • Ravi
    Mar 4, 2011 - 5:28PM

    ha ha ha……
    keep dicussing while another batch of amir kasabs will be on their way for carring out all kinds of mayhem in india.
    Historically pakistan has always backstabbed india whenever india has started any meanngful talks.
    Take kargil our beloved atalji went all the way to lahore and what happened backstabbing.
    In 2001 when things were getting back to normal pakistan attacked Indian parliament.
    In 2003 mumbai was again struck.
    The list is endless.Recommend

  • G.Din
    Mar 4, 2011 - 5:46PM

    His government is drowning under the weight of various scams. He has absolutely no mandate from the people of India and therefore is unlikely to be able to deliver on any promises he might make. This is just a diversion and a huge waste of time! Recommend

  • ILLIDAN
    Mar 4, 2011 - 6:00PM

    @Ravi-
    I understand your frustration bro, but this time Pakistan is very serious about improving her relations with India. Its time we believe that we cannot ignore India and choose to live with it peacefully. The murder of ministers by people like Quadri has raised an alarm, Only India like a true neighbor, can help Pakistan get out of this filth!Recommend

  • John
    Mar 4, 2011 - 8:31PM

    “There is no re-drawing of borders” is what M.M. Singh said. That is to say that LOC is final border between the countries. Naturally, a few parts on the borders have to be exchanged to form a Natural border. If PAK goes into this talk knowing this, it is good. Otherwise as far as India is concerned the Kashmir is a settled issue and what Mr. Singh says here is to discuss with PAK regarding infiltrators from PAK border.

    PAK Govt Ambassador to EU tried in EU parliament a few years ago on the Kashmir issue and after a commissioned study on the topographical map, treaties and other historical documents in the archives of British museum and parliament, the PAK claim was summarily rejected by EU.

    These are the realities at the ground. Kashmir in India has moved on and what Govt of India is discussing now with Kashmiris is use of it’s water for Kashmiri Valley Projects as Kashmiris demand. This makes it difficult for Govt of India despite Indus Valley treaty with PAK. Unless PAK settles the border issues with India, there is unlikely to have any major financing for it’s Bhasha Dam project or other irrigational system such as de-silting the existing Indus channels and new locks from it’s international donors and financiers.

    It is unlikely that Kerry-Lugar bill finance the Bhasha Dam project. Recommend

  • sundar
    Mar 4, 2011 - 10:34PM

    Will we ever see a day when Pakistani army sheds its acute anti India stand and think of turning it into a welfare nation? Being the sole decision maker especially Indo-Pak relations, the Pak army holds the key. Recommend

  • Blithe
    Mar 5, 2011 - 12:17AM

    @ILLIDAN:
    Stop masquerading to be a Pakistani! Recommend

  • Sing
    Mar 5, 2011 - 1:53AM

    There are no peaceful pakistanis.We indians are fool with an open heart allow their singers,artists to come and work in india but gets backstabbbed ;Their govt is so incompetent which has no control over army and isi.

    Manmohan singh should better talk to General kiyani who really decides the policy in pakistan.

    Or tell him to topple the inefficient government but this is what army of pakistan wants =>more funds,more control,more plundering or resource which should go to poor masses.Recommend

  • Vicram Singh
    Mar 5, 2011 - 2:14AM

    I only hope Dr. Manmohan Singh is not trying to be a hero here and trying to go down in history as the one who solved the Kashmir issue. Kashmir is a settled issue. India Recommend

  • Nitin
    Mar 5, 2011 - 2:44AM

    I really hope that something positive happens. I would sincerely hope that we reach an agreement similar to what was decided in the Agra summit.

    To my Indian compatriots: from our (i.e., Indian) side, it would be of great help if India can build up the infrastructure in Kashmir. I firmly believe that the sheer incompetence of our Indian policitians (in not developing kashmir prior to 1989 in terms of educations, employment etc.) is the main reason for why ther unrest started in the region (after 1989, the unrest took its own dimension because of the insurgency propagated by Pakistan; but we have to accept our shortcomings here). I have lived in that region and I know that while the Indian Govt spent a lot of money on kashmir (prior to 89), all of it went to foreign accounts of asses like Farooq Abdullah. What we need is someone like Nitish Kumar to head the state govt of kashmir.

    To my Pakistani neighbours: although we do agree that our dumb politicians have screwed up on kashmir, however, that does not mean that kashmiris will be any better if kashmir were a part of pakistan -since there is no paucity of dumb politicians on both sides. Recommend

  • ILLIDAN
    Mar 5, 2011 - 2:58AM

    @Blithe-
    I wont defend myself here. Actually I dont need to… I am only saying things which i suppose wud be best not only for Pakistan but also for the entire sub continent.Recommend

  • raja
    Mar 5, 2011 - 4:01AM

    @John:
    John the kashmir talk is only to calm the next up coming storm of stone pelter’s Border will be redrawn on both side to give a passage to independent Kashmir. If you believes in democracy the I hope you will accept the people choice otherwise one day people will rise like Egypt. And with your power how many more you gonna kill. Kashmir can have good relationship with India let it go so do pakistan if pakistan part of kashmir wants independence.Recommend

  • vasan
    Mar 5, 2011 - 7:03AM

    Blithe : So your comment proves that any support to a compromise view point or Indian view point is “anti pakistan”, What is the use of talks when u start with such an assumptionRecommend

  • Mar 5, 2011 - 11:20AM

    You can change everything except your neighbors. It is time to move towards a sustained, consistent and open-minded communication. The bottom line is that there is no alternative to dialogue. And that while the governments sort out their political differences, they should at least not let the people suffer – ease visa restrictions, let people meet, allow trade (yes, even transit trade), remove non-tariff barriers. In short, behave like civilised neighbours in the 21st century. India and Pakistan cannot be adversaries forever. Recommend

  • ILLIDAN
    Mar 5, 2011 - 1:23PM

    @Blithe –
    Don’t act like you are not aware of the situation in Pakistan with scams, assassinations, bomb blasts, suicide attacks happening almost each and everyday! Also, I don’t wanna defend myself but at the same time I don’t wanna get drifted from the reality!Recommend

  • Ravi
    Mar 5, 2011 - 1:51PM

    @A R Khan Yusufzai:
    Interaction of pakistanis with indians?????
    not needed man….
    Solve all outstanding issues with india and let indians live in peace.
    Easing visa restrictions will only propell more jihadis into india. Because jihadis are not the only ones with ak 47 but people siting in comfort of homes preaching about nuclear war with india are also jihadis.
    People who make facebook pages to promote a murderer as ghazi are equally jihadis.
    And finally Trade ???? I dont think indian busness are dying to get into pakistani markets.
    Even if we dont do trade with pakistan (as we presently don’t) we will keep developing at a healthy gdp rate.
    Indians have moved on with the idea that we can be neighbours with pakistan but not friends.Recommend

  • Manoj
    Mar 5, 2011 - 5:52PM

    @ILLIDAN:

    God also help those, who helps themselves. Pakistan is determined to destroy itself. Pak army which was mandated to protect the unity and integrity of the country ,is the ultimate factor to destroy it, just for the sake of protecting it’s own interest. Pak army wants to survive at the cost of country itself. Pak history of last 60 years proves it beyond doubt. 1965, 1971, support to terrorist of Indian Punjab 1980 – 88, support to Kashmiri terrorist 1989 onwards, kargil, intervention in Afganistan 1979 onwards, blasphemy law, Parliament attack in India, Mumabi attack, 9/11, all are achivement of Pak army.

    All these achievement cost the country’s economy to make it an international begger, destroyed the industrial and educational infrastructure in the country and converted it into factory of jihadi terrorist.

    To come out of the situation, Pak citizen needs to wake up and take matters in their own hand, to call the bluff of army it should sign a no war pact with India, afganistan and Iran under the supervision and guarntee of UNO, should freez all the border issue for at least 50 years. Disslove the army of Pakistan and use the 50 years for nation and institution building. I am sure 50 years will transform the country in a modern, enlightened Islamic welfare state as per the dream of founder Mr. Jinnah.
    Many of us will not live for 50 years to see the transformed Pskistan but it will be great service to the future geneartion of the subcontinent and we can hope that we will once again be respected by the whole world as we were during the glorious days of Taxsila, Nalanda and vikramshila.Recommend

  • Javaid
    Mar 6, 2011 - 1:16AM

    @Ravi:
    Hahahaha Kasab is Your Own Desi production. Find out Who taken shot as Snipper from tall buildings on Karkare and party? You will get to the Real Killer and Finacier & Planner of 26/11. They are inside your own country Just as You find Miscreant Right wing Military RSS Nazio-Facist Col. Prohit and You had been blaming Samjhota on ISI. At last, The Miscreant was captured Blowing other targets witnin India. Find out Who sent the Snippers to target Karkare. Clue Clue.. The one of such Person is in the Congress and with in Leadership Position.

    @ G.Din
    If Manmohan is drowing , Youa re gonna drown with him too. What an idiot You are. He is PM og India , Notof Ireland. Hello? Dah??? Are you Alive?? or Lost brain? Terrorist like you never think straight. Now, Start taking Shots on your Own PM. I said before that you particularly and others lie you are all Hindu terrorist. Go and Put your rela nazo-Facist Hindu terrorist name. Don’t hide behind Firewall like a Hindu coward.Recommend

  • vasan
    Mar 6, 2011 - 1:10PM

    Javaid:
    It will be possible to argue and convince an idiot who knows he is an idiot, but it is absolutely useless to argue and convince an idiot who does not know he is an idiot. Get all ur facts right from a reasonable source and come back and withdraw your post containing rubbishRecommend

  • John
    Mar 6, 2011 - 8:38PM

    @raja:
    If the people of Kashmir on PAK side (whole region) wanted independence they would have also rose up against the PAK government. Things moved on in 60 years. The POK area has received more money from UK based Kashmiris than other regions. The economy is relatively better compared to other remote regions of PAK. Granted, the J&K economy has not progressed as compared to other states in India. The past 3 Govt in India are trying to pumping money into the region in the infrastructure.
    Neither country wants to go beyond LOC as the natural border of the country. Once the LOC is crossed, both countries have no more natural borders because of the terrain. People on either side of the borders at LOC are freely moving and finding work, and trade. The situations are either side of the border sometimes restricts, as in Israel and Palestine where there is still cross border traffic.

    With regard to freedom of people, no one is against it. Kashmir and Jammu has elected general assembly, and J&K state constitution clearly sates in which side of the border the state belongs. Every state in India fought for their state autonomy, rights, and its share of the revenue from the center Govt, as is typical of all unions including USA where the water disputes and tariff disputes still exists between state. They won’t take the guns however on this matter. Geography, contiguous land scape, integrated economy, people, strategic international borders all has made J&K a part of India ever since the first kingdom was formed, has gone through numerous hands, last from Akbar, to Singh, to British for the very reasons I cited above. Emotions are important for every one to attach to the land, but in rulers mind whether Akbar, Singh, British, now India and PAK, real things are also important such as natural borders, trade route which historically defined nations for flow of economy.

    Kashmir and Jammu is an independent state like any other state in India, and it’s destiny is with people, and its assembly. Govt. of India can only facilitate, enforce, and assist. The rest is with the people. One can not ask for separation and also for money from Govt of India or from other financial institutions to run the local economy. The govt of India spent disproportionate share of money from treasury on J&K than other northeast states. The way in and out of j & k is from south not from west. Which way will the produce and people use for trade or pleasure. Sorry, it is the terrain. if independence of Kashmir means also independent militia(military) and currency, sorry you are mistaken. People of J&K do not have the money for all that and no one will loan the money.

    For those who are still under religious emotional clutches, please read Mr. Jardhari’s (pak president) letter in Washington Post on March 6, to understand where PAK stands.

    Please ignore typo errors.Recommend

  • Irfan
    Mar 18, 2011 - 1:42AM

    Good,strategy by manmohan singh.

    Just say K word,We dont know pakistan is very weak to harm.Atleast talks can keep the militants away.

    By 2020,India would be 6 trillion dollar economy,Kashmir would more developed !

    On the similar side,govt must not allow people to disrupt law and order in kashmir,give them jobs and keep them silent.Police is sufficient to handle the wicked boys!

    Lets buy time !!pakistan is bound to merge into india :)Recommend

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