15 June, 2021

Another Talk Show

The joint panel may end up as mere formality

Another Talk Show
The task of putting some real life and purpose into the joint terror mechanism was always going to be as delicate as it was going to be tough. The four-member Indian team, which met its counterpart in the library of the Pakistan foreign office a fortnight ago, knew this. But how delicate became all the more clear when the Pakistani team leader, Tariq Usman Haider, termed the ongoing violence in Kashmir as part of a freedom struggle. "Kashmir se hat jaane se terrorism to khatam hi ho jayega," he opined breezily.

Haider's gratuitous declaration had little bearing on the day's agenda: which was, how to define the ambit of the mechanism and its modus operandi? The Pakistanis argued it should not become an instrument that dug out old cases and gave them a fresh lease of life. The implication: Pakistan would want to limit its scope to new cases arising after last September's Havana summit where the idea of a joint mechanism was mooted. The Indians insisted their understanding was at variance from Pakistan's, but conceded that it might not...

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