Change, but no change

As far as Indo-Pakistan relations are concerned, induction of Mr Khurshid should hardly make a difference.


Editorial October 30, 2012

India’s soft-spoken, suave veteran foreign minister, SM Krishna, has bowed out to make room for ‘young blood’, which comes in the form of Salman Khurshid — his country’s first Muslim foreign minister in 16 years. Mr Khurshid, from the politically-powerful state of Uttar Pradesh, has had a slow rise to the top with the Congress party and along the way, has taken an aggressive lead in tackling various issues — including controversial ones such as that concerning the age of the Indian chief of army staff. He has always openly embraced his Muslim identity, often with a lively sense of humour, used from time to time to combat the communalism directed his way.

It is still too early to say what Mr Khurshid’s style will be or what he will contribute to the Indian ruling party, which currently struggles for control. But as far as the question of Indo-Pakistan relations is concerned, the induction of Mr Khurshid should hardly make a difference. The policies on key issues will not change. But it will be interesting to see if we have any difference in style. His predecessor, Mr Krishna, had struck up a good working relationship with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar. Beyond policies, personal equations also matter when it comes to negotiating delicate issues  and for now, Mr Khurshid’s style is an unknown factor, though some predictions from India suggest he may adopt a more combative style than the immensely experienced Mr Krishna, who had established for himself a reputation of being a superb diplomat.

What is most important is that Indo-Pakistan relations continue along the lines they are currently proceeding on. The tensions that had resulted in the aftermath of the November 2008 siege of Mumbai have finally begun to ease, with the peace process more or less back on track. As Mr Khurshid takes charge of the foreign ministry in New Delhi, we must hope this continues and talks move forward at a fast pace, since harmony between the neighbours — given their history of acrimony — is essential to the welfare of the region as a whole.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2012.

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COMMENTS (17)

Cynical | 8 years ago | Reply

@ethicalman

@Cynical…what are you cynical about..? u’re comment is confusing too..

I am not cynical about anything. Don't go by the moniker, it's just, well, a moniker. Not all men named 'Sundar' are sundar (handsome), just as a certain 'ethicalman' is not so ethical. Anyway, let's leave the trivia and attend to your anxieties. What I gather from your disjointed tirade (your 2 posts taken together) is that you are concerned about; 1.Sons and grandsons of politicians (only congress variety) becoming ministers. Indian constitution doesn't prohibit sons and grandsons (even great grandsons) from contesting an election and, if they win and nominated by their party, from hold ministerial positions. The good news is, it equally applies to the anti-congress parties.

2.'about one track minded Pakistanis like ‘Maria’ Being pathologically preoccupied with only two obsessions i.e. ‘Pakistan’ and ‘Muslims’, you can mathematically claim to be the owner of a ‘multi track’ mind. No argument.

why did’t Pakistan took all the Muslims from India Muslims or Hindus, Christians or Sikhs, are neither a herd of cattle nor sacks of grain waiting to be herded or transported. They are people who were given the right to choose and they exercised their right. Whether they choose rightly or wrongly, is a matter of opinion best left to themselves.

‘bemaru state’ Ulta Pradesh so is Bihar..and Congress has the biggest hand in making UP what it is today.. I don’t think it’s ethical for an Indian to trash any member state of the union as ‘bemaru’. However, since 65 years of independence, both UP and Bihar were ruled by non-congress parties for a small matter of 30 years i.e. 46% of time.

Salman Khrushid is just another western educated lawyer and corrupt If it's a crime (even morally) to be a 'western educated lawyer', then he is in an illustrious company with, among other Indians; M K Gandhi, J L Nehru and M C Chagla (chances are you may not know the last named gentleman). It is premature to say that he is corrupt. Mere allegation, until proven in a court of law is still an allegation. Any member of the anti-corruption brigade (Instead of flashing bunch of papers in front of TV cameras) can file a PIL case or at the least file RTI application to get at the bottom of this issue. Actually I wish someone does.

Salman K was the lawyer for SIMI 7.'appease indian mulsims inspite of there crazy thoughts Right to have a legal defense and, a legal practitione'r right to defend an accused in a court of law are two sides of the same coin. That’s how it is and it should be in any civilised and democratic country. These are pretty basics. Yes, there are crazy lots. And I see them elsewhere too. I saw them vandalizing a place of worship and dancing on it’s ruins, I saw them burning library, ransacking art exhibitions, molesting girls on valentine day, proposing child marriage as a counter measure against the vile act of rape.….I can go on and on. Picking on a particular group, among the ‘crazy lots’ is unalloyed bigotry.

Nitish | 8 years ago | Reply

@Maria: This man is an Indian first and foremost so his job is to promote India’s interests. Since he comes from the powerful state of UP where Hindu culture and tradition is more dominant than other parts of India, he may well be more anti Pakistan than other Indians. So is the Bihar.Mere investigation of total number of canditate from these two state in armed forces can tell you the entire story.Recently my brother(from one of my relative) lost his life in cease fire violation.He was simply coming back home after finishing his duty.Unknowingly he got some bullet into hi s body.He married just one month back.The girl is still widow. and your army have ruined her life. We some how hold congi govt responsible for his death.Now not only i hate pakistan but i started hating muslim too. And i have all the valid reason for that.

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