New Delhi : “India is ready to hold discussions with Pakistan, but the discussions will not be on Kashmir, they will be on terrorism,” saying this, India’s Foreign Ministry Secretary S Jaishankar has rebuffed Pakistan. While replying to Pakistan‘s proposal for holding discussions, Jaishankar stated that Pakistan-sponsored terrorism is exclusively responsible for the current tensions in Jammu and Kashmir and that India was always prepared to hold discussions on terrorism.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently raised the issue about the Pakistan’s atrocities on the population of Balochistan and PoK. Two days after this, Pakistan’s foreign ministry had extended invitation to India for discussions on Kashmir. The spokesman of Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry Nafees Zakaria had announced that a letter was issued to the Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawala, proposing talks. Zakaria had said that the discussions would be held between the foreign secretaries of the two countries. A fitting reply to Pakistan’s proposal was given by India’s foreign ministry.
The Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar hit back saying that while India is prepared to discuss terrorism, no discussions can be held about the Kashmir issue. He clarified that the current tension in Jammu and Kashmir is only because of the cross border terrorism and therefore they propose to Pakistan that the discussions between the foreign secretaries be limited to terrorism. At the same time, the Foreign Ministry has reiterated to Pakistan that there is no discussion possible on Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral part of India.
After Burhan Wani was shot dead by the Border Security Forces of India, Pakistan had openly supported terrorism. When Pakistan government took the stance to support terrorism, quite similar to its military, it had evoked strong reactions from India. This visible change in the Indian stance, which hitherto was more supportive of the democratically elected Pakistan government, has proved to increase pressure on Pakistan. Prime Minister Modi’s statements about the situation in Balochistan and ‘PoK’ have, in particular, rattled Pakistan.
And therefore, while on the one hand, Pakistan continues to support terrorism, but on the other hand it is offering proposals to discuss the Kashmir issue with India.
Pakistan wants to project a scenario to the international community that despite its proposals for talks, India is not prepared for the discussions. Pakistan wants to use this proposal for discussions, to save its face; from the ignominy it attracted from the international community, after the Indian Home Minister was denied protocol at the SAARC conference. It should be noted that, by not refusing to discuss, but by limiting the discussions to terrorism, India has displayed political astuteness. Pakistan is thus caught in a dilemma and the onus is now on it to reply to the Indian proposal. Pakistan’s efforts to sidestep the terrorism and to limit the discussions to the Kashmir issue only, have once again failed dismally.