24 November, 2020

Wise Man From The West

Wisner's initiative adds a new twist as Pakistan fumbles for a response to Deve Gowda's letter

Wise Man From The West

IT was like putting the cat among the pigeons. Frank Wisner, US ambassador to India, arrived in Pakistan for a lecture at its Command and Staff College, Quetta. And he immediately got down to business—a lecture on why and how relations with India should be improved. It was not the usual lecture dripping only with platitudes and diplomatese. Trying hard at balancing his discourse, not to sound as if he favoured India, Wisner came out quite clearly, urging Islamabad to recognise "certain fundamental realities" of the last 50 years. He endorsed the elections in Kashmir, going along with the Indian Election Commission's description of them as "imperfect" but saying they had contributed to the "empowerment of the Kashmiri people—and to the beginning of a political process in the state".

Wisner's lecture was prepared carefully. He was addressing the most powerful decision-makers in Pakistan. On issues related to India, the army has a decisive say. His visit naturally created quite a stir. The newspapers in...



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