“Mushu Mushu haasi deo” must be the song on the lips of the Indian diplomats who were all gaga over the recent paltry visit of the Pakistani Dictator. I think if it achieved something, it was the dilution of the tough stance against cross-border terrorism, the existence of which was gradually being acknowledged publicly by Pakistan and the rest of the World (read USA) post 9/11. In effect, the erstwhile BJP government was perhaps better off dealing.
Analysts such as Dileep Padgaonkar say that Musharaff has progressed from an “obdurate soldier” at Agra Summit to an “astute politician” of today, with a vision. We hope this is true. Nobody can deny his efforts at projecting Pakistan as a moderate forward-looking nation (whether he is actually working towards that, Khuda only knows).
More than anything, I was taken aback by the unwarranted hype. The prior visit of Chinese Premier, probably more significant, attracted no buzz. First, there is no comparing the current visit with the Agra one. This one was no summit! There was nothing that could have emerged. With no diplomatic homework being done at all, this was just not the right occasion. It was no wonder that both the sides were so flexible. Watching the press briefings even a layman could have seen that the outcome was cipher. “We achieved much more that I expected”, said the General with a dim face. As if he had come here with the belief that Kashmir will be handed over to him in a platter.
The only positive steps taken IMHO are the efforts on restoring the two Ts, trade and travel, between the nations. The best way to coerce a misbehaved child is either thrashing or making him busy and happy. The former has not worked, so we must try the latter. Though, it?s difficult to view such steps without wariness; we have been brought up to hate Pakistan. Atanu worries that projects such as the Indo-Iranian pipeline would only let Pakistan arm-twist us later, I don?t fully subscribe to this. An economically progressive and politically stable Pakistan certainly means less trouble for us.
Swaminathan Aiyar has no faith in the summits and the bus-diplomacy either, which he says, “creates an illusion that Pakistan is a key player in the issue”. He raises another valid question on the way Kashmir problem was dealt with right from the beginning (“it was New Delhi and not Islamabad that created the problem”). He cites the example of Punjab Terrorism that was successfully tackled by the local Police rather than the Army, the latter he rightfully says, “is simply not suited to tackle civil militancy”. Hello! Is anybody listening?