Kashmir sours India-Pakistan talks: Indian Govt source

Hina Rabbani Khar's meeting with Kashmiri leaders soured the atmosphere ahead of peace talks, says Indian govt source.


Afp July 27, 2011

NEW DELHI: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar's meeting with Kashmiri leaders soured the atmosphere ahead of peace talks with her Indian counterpart, an Indian government source said Wednesday.

(Read: Khar-Krishna talks: New minister, same message)

The Himalayan region of Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, which have fought two of their three wars over it since independence in 1947.

Activists in Indian Kashmir have waged decades of protests demanding self-rule, while New Delhi considers the whole of the territory an integral part of the country.

Khar, after arriving in New Delhi on Tuesday afternoon, met Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the chairman of Hurriyat Conference and leader of mass protests against Indian rule last year.

"It was not a good idea at all," a senior government source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"Since we have already said we are willing to have discussions on all issues with Pakistan, including the Jammu and Kashmir issue, no useful purpose can be served by such exercises," said the source.

He added that the meeting, at a time when the countries are trying to build trust and confidence in each other, "does not help the process at hand."

India and Pakistan's foreign ministers held their first talks in a year on Wednesday, looking to breathe fresh life into a peace process still stifled by the trauma of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

India suspended contacts with Pakistan after the attacks and their peace dialogue has struggled to gain any real traction since its formal resumption earlier this year.

Observers expect little to emerge from Wednesday's meeting beyond some modest confidence-building measures connected to relatively uncontentious issues such as cross-border trade and people-to-people contacts.

COMMENTS (7)

Thomas | 9 years ago | Reply

@malik:

Thank you Malik. You are one person I have seen on this board with grasp of things as they are. The truth is that, no one in India, the goverment or the people are so keen on having friendship with Pakistan. There may be some people who relatives in both countries may wish there was a good relationship for personal reasons. Kashmir problem is never going to be settled along the lines of what Pakistan hopes. What is won in war with blood of Indian soldiers is never going to be given away. Pakistan can hope and theories that India is going to disintegrate like Pakistan, (is living in fools paradise), but it is highly unlikely. Some Kashmiris can raise hue and cry for seperation, in my opinion they must be pulled out of their homes and shot publically for being traitors. It is just my opinion. India don't need Pakistan at all, and Pakistan has survived with out being friends with India for this long. Both nations can be a little more civil. We don't need to visit each other, there are many other better countries that people of both countries can visit.

Dr Priyanka | 9 years ago | Reply

@malik: I agree with you wholeheartedly. Although I am one of the few who want a normal relation with Pakistan, majority in India donot care about Pakistan.The younger generation in fact are even less bothered. To them Pakistan is just a neighbour like any other, nearby neighbours.

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