Delhi diaries: S Asia peace to thrive despite acrimony says Khurshid

Published: January 22, 2013
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The minister says that the media had blown the issue out of control, saying that the matter “snowballed” once it came into the media’s spotlight.

The minister says that the media had blown the issue out of control, saying that the matter “snowballed” once it came into the media’s spotlight.

NEW DELHI: 

Dialogue between India and Pakistan will continue to move forward and will not be derailed despite recent unpleasant events, India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said at a dinner hosted for Track 2 dialogue participants in New Delhi on Monday.

Alluding to incidents at the Line of Control in recent weeks, Khurshid said that sometimes, unpleasant things happen between states but those shouldn’t be allowed to affect ties between them. Without giving any particular timeframe, the minister said that the peace process between the two countries will move forward. Khurshid said this while on the table with Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir and two former Pakistani high commissioners to India, Shahid Malik and Aziz Ahmad Khan.

Prior to the speech, Khurshid had an informal interaction with several participants of the Track 2 Dialogue (which was organised in New Delhi by the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation and the Islamabad-based Jinnah Institute). The head of Ajoka theatre group, Madeeha Gauhar, spoke to the Indian minister in detail about the cancellation of a play scheduled to be performed by her group at India’s National School of Drama. The minister replied by saying that such decisions, including the one about sending Pakistani hockey players who had come to India to play in a professional league, were not the result of any coordinated decision-making by the government of India. Rather, organisers had assessed respective situations and acted on their own accord. “They must have sensed the wind and took these actions, and we have not reprimanded them for taking them because at times such things can happen,” said Khurshid.

The minister said that the media had blown the issue out of control, saying that the matter “snowballed” once it came into the media’s spotlight. In response to a question from Pakistani social scientist and defence analyst Ayesha Siddiqa, the minister said that the Indian government’s response is usually given by the foreign ministry and that other institutions had been told to avoid giving such statements to the press.

“The reality today is that one doesn’t need to look for a reporter or a camera to give a statement, the cameras are everywhere – so I don’t blame the military officials either,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Majid Urrehman
    Jan 22, 2013 - 5:10AM

    Great to know sane voices are still alive in India.

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  • Yoghurt lover
    Jan 22, 2013 - 8:00AM

    Appointing a Kashmiri muslim as the foreign minister was the worst decision by Manmohan.

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  • Raja
    Jan 22, 2013 - 8:53AM

    That Salman Khurshid would capitulate so soon and with such ease makes him unsuitable for the position he holds.

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  • Queen
    Jan 22, 2013 - 9:29AM

    The Indian side should stop receiving dictation from Indian Army. I wonder what has made the Indian side suddenly concerned about South Asia’s peace, as previously we were seeing some really harsh remarks from the Indian side. Why the change of mind?? Hope sanity continues to prevail.

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  • Queen
    Jan 22, 2013 - 9:36AM

    @Majid Urrehman:
    Where was this sane voice when Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar had called for the continuation of dialogue after tensions had escalated at the border?

    It seems Mr Khurshid has “sensed the wind” and is taking actions accordingly.

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  • Jan 22, 2013 - 9:46AM

    This is a welcome statement, but still strange to hear after India so dangerously ratcheted up tensions after the LOC incidents. Thank god Pakistan was the saner of the two!

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  • Foolitics
    Jan 22, 2013 - 10:12AM

    Indian PM says that the beheading can’t be forgotten. The Indian foreign minister implies “unpleasant things” happen between states but it should be forgotten in the cause of peace. The Indian government looks like a bunch of jokers looking from outside.

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  • Clear Black Bag
    Jan 22, 2013 - 10:47AM

    1-“NEW DELHI:Dialogue between India and Pakistan will continue to move forward and will not be derailed despite recent unpleasant events, India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid”
    Really and very interestingly India shall continue LoC’s violations and kill Pakistani soldiers and also threaten by Indian Air and Army chiefs and also shall continue peace process with Pakistan as well…..
    2-“Alluding to incidents at the Line of Control in recent weeks, Khurshid said that sometimes, unpleasant things happen between states but those shouldn’t be allowed to affect ties between them. Without giving any particular timeframe, the minister said that the peace process between the two countries will move forward”
    In Salman Khurseed’s standpoint LoC’s violations and killings of Pakistani soldiers are only the sometimes’ unpleasant events.How finely and masterly Salman Khursheed is unsuccessfully trying to camouflage the repeatedly Indian army’s crimes and violations on LoC or this may possible that Salman Khursheed is trying unsuccessfully to cover and prove false,untrue and wrongful this confessed statement given by Indian Home Minister in which he said that BJP and RSS are monitoring and running Hindu Terrorists’ camps in India…..

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  • SKChadha
    Jan 22, 2013 - 12:47PM

    @ Foolitics: Don’t you feel that both statements are intended? Issue is forgotten as long as peace prevails and ‘Strategic Assets’ are in check … ?

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  • Akshay
    Jan 22, 2013 - 1:12PM

    @Yoghurt lover:
    He’s a Muslim from UP, not Kashmir!

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  • G. Din
    Jan 22, 2013 - 4:58PM

    @Foolitics:
    “The Indian government looks like a bunch of jokers looking from outside.”
    They are, inside or outside!

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  • Malatesh
    Jan 22, 2013 - 6:14PM

    @Akshay

    Salman Khurshid is Kashmiri

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  • Ayush
    Jan 22, 2013 - 8:40PM

    @Malatesh

    NO! he is from Farrukhabad UP. He is as pukka a UPite as you can find. He has nothing to do with Kashmir.

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  • Raja
    Jan 23, 2013 - 8:42AM

    @Yoghurt lover:
    Salman is not Kashmiri Muslim. It was Omar Farooq who held the position of Minister of State for External Affairs (Junior Minister) while Atal Behari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister.

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  • Raja
    Jan 23, 2013 - 8:49AM

    @[email protected]:
    Sanity would have been if beheading didn’t occur in the first place. And sanity has prevailed because India didn’t retaliate in equal measure. Restrain is not a sign of weakness, rather it comes from a position of strength.

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  • Clear Black Bag
    Jan 23, 2013 - 11:15AM

    @Ayush:
    @Foolitics:
    @Raja:
    @Yoghurt lover:
    One thing is similar in Pakistanis and Indians,id est,Pakistanis and Indians mostly reprehend and find faults with their leaders in the comments and criticize on their tasks…

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