Now that we are on our one billionth peace process with an inflexible neighbor, what do you think will happen when the dictator and Kargil architect visits India ?
The Foreign Secretary of India issued a statement asking the public not to expect any fireworks. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is the good cop. I don’t think he can offend anyone with words. So that job was delegated to Pranab Mukerjee who said “Pakistan has double standards on terrorism“. While Musharraf thinks that time is running out (for him?), Natwar Singh said that “it would not be prudent to set any time frame for resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue and asserted that there is no question of taking Islamabad off the hook on cross-border terrorism.” The Prime Minister just mentioned that he has a long-term plan for the solution of the Kashmir problem, but it is in a lock box and will not be revealed to public.
What does Musharraf want? He wants to convert LoC to a soft border. This means no more passports for crossing the border. A terrorist from Karachi who wants to get into India can now go to Muzzafarabad, write some information on a piece of paper and cross to the Indian side of Kashmir and drive to New Delhi. Musharraf also wants an out of box solution which essentially is the code word for “wrap Kashmir in a box and give it to us”.
NewsInsight reported that India had agreed to a territory swap with China whereby India would give up some peaks in Askai Chin and China in turn would give up on the Eastern Sector, mainly Arunachal Pradesh. South Asia tribune reported that India would have a similar deal with Pakistan in which there would be a territory swap. This territory swap also has the blessings of the Indian Communists.
But looks like the territory swap will not happen as it is a big no no for India, but there will be more confidence building measures.
Officials said the CBMs related to more bus services between the two countries, including from Kasur to Indian Punjab and from Jammu to Sialkot besides opening more routes between the two sides of Jammu and Kashmir. They also said that India might raise the security issue of passengers travelling by the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus and also offer joint security for passengers.
The inclusion of Defence Secretary Lt Gen (r) Tariq Wasim Ghazi in the delegation fuelled speculation that the discussions could cover the Siachen issue on which a limited agreement was reached last year. For the last one month, Singh has extensively consulted security experts and former diplomats.
Sources claimed that an accord on Sir Creek was also possible, as the leaders believe it would send positive signals. [India ready to grant concessions to Pakistan]
While India is big on these CBMs, this is not what Musharraf wants.
“Confidence Building Measures is not final solution to the problem and this time I am quite confident regarding the resolution of Kashmir dispute,” he added. [Visit to India not to meet Agra like fate: Musharraf]
Musharraf is coming with the hope that he will get territory. Indians are hoping to entice him with more bus services and paper napkin passports. So you get a feel for which direction these talks are heading to.
Related Link: No to Musharraf