Former Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has cautioned Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to expect dramatic results from his proposed visit to Pakistan next year.
Citing New Delhi’s previous experiences of engagement with Pakistan, Khurshid said, "Our past experiences have not been positive...not very satisfactory ... so we are not sure that this time it will be any better. So, I think we have to be watchful; I don't think we need to celebrate.
The former minister went on to add, "We have always taken the view that there is no option but to talk in what manner and how one should talk ... you have to be careful."
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Urging Modi to be watchful, Khurshid said one should not hurry and see how things work out as they move forward.
Responding to a question whether the Modi’s proposed visit to Pakistan would yield results, Khurshid said India should not expect dramatic results from the visit. "I don't know. It may get us some results if we know what we are going for; we have to understand what's happening in Pakistan; we have to understand the role of army in Pakistan and (we have to) go with a practical view... not expecting something dramatic to happen.
Khurshid said Modi has a ‘tendency to look for drama,’ while warning Modi that issues between the neighbours could not be resolved through drama. “This has to be carefully, slowly and studiously built upon."
Taking a jibe at Modi, the Congress party stalwart said while Congress is in favour of talks with Pakistan, the prime minister should clarify whether the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in favour of resumption of dialogues with Islamabad.
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Accusing Modi of not taking opposition and other political leaders into confidence regarding relations with Pakistan, the former minister said “we cannot judge Modi's efforts unless he shares either with the people of the country or with leaders of opposition in some manner as to what his intentions are and what he wants to do."
Commenting on no reference of the Kashmir issue in the joint statement issued by Modi and Nawaz, Khurshid said, "It's neither here, nor there. On one way, you can say that it might be advantageous (to India) that they (Pakistan) have stopped talking about Jammu and Kashmir.
"On the other way, it may be disadvantageous that they may say we are ready to talk about everything; so, we will talk about Jammu and Kashmir also."
The article originally appeared on The Economic Times
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