Kashmir sours India-Pakistan talks: Indian Govt source

By AFP
Published: July 27, 2011
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Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar's meeting with Kashmiri leaders soured the atmosphere ahead of peace talks with her Indian counterpart. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar's meeting with Kashmiri leaders soured the atmosphere ahead of peace talks with her Indian counterpart. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

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.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Jul 27, 2011 - 12:27PM

    It was immaturity on her part to meet with separatist leaders before the official talks.

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  • Syed Qalb-e-Abbas
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:53PM

    not good at all … dont we hv an agenda going into such talks ? it simply shows how ill-prepared we are as a nation… damn !

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  • parvati
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:59PM

    Pakistani delegation was actually never interested in talks they just came to made a media circus which was evident from her meeting with APHC leaders before the actual talks.Delhi will now sure drawback from it as we can see now.This meet failed long before it started.

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  • Rooster
    Jul 27, 2011 - 3:29PM

    It happens everytime someone from Pakistan visits India. So wats new in it?? This has been the trend over the last 2 decades… This is only a photo Op…
    Does it matter to India ?? Probably not coz it does no good to Kashmiris or pakistanis

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  • malik
    Jul 27, 2011 - 6:49PM

    Hina, the immature politico that she is, played right into the hands of experienced bureaucrats of New Delhi by meeting the Hurriyat leaders. Indian side wants Pak to talk about Kashmir so that they can talk about 26/11 and thus they can go back to their desks, happy that Pak has been kept at arms’ length.

    In the foreign policy circles of India, it is common knowledge that the talks between India and Pakistan are conducted just to pull wool over the international community and not with any specific outcome in mind. India wants an image of a peace-loving country and to maintain this such talks are being conducted regularly.

    But the reality is, no one in India cares two hoots for normalization of relations with Pakistan. Another reason that is gaining ground in Delhi is that allowing people-to-people interaction is fraught with security risks and the last thing India wants is to have normal relations with Pak.

    In fact, the current thinking is that India has nothing to gain from the normalization of relations with Pakistan. And they have nothing to lose either in maintaining the status quo.

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  • Jul 27, 2011 - 8:10PM

    @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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  • Thomas
    Jul 27, 2011 - 8:15PM

    @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.

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