Monday, January 24, 2011

Manis mantra: “uninterrupted and uninterruptible dialogue”

  • Should the Pakistan government assist the Indian government in this manner to return to the negotiating table, then the first task would be to consolidate the gains of the 13-year old Composite Dialogue. Irrespective of whether progress on the back-channel is acknowledged or not, the official position of the two governments has grown so much closer to each other's than ever before that even by returning to the front table and taking up each component of the Composite Dialogue, including, above all, issues related to Jammu & Kashmir, we could dramatically alter the atmosphere in which to pursue the outstanding matters.

  • In such a changed atmosphere, it would be essential to immediately move to the next phase of what I hope and pray will be an “uninterrupted and uninterruptible” dialogue. Let me place before you, in outline, what I envisage as the essential elements to be structured into an “uninterrupted and uninterruptible” dialogue: One, the venue must be such that neither India nor Pakistan can forestall the dialogue from taking place. Following the example of the supervision of the armistice in Korea at Panmunjom for more than half a century, such a venue might best be the Wagah-Attari border, where the table is laid across the border, so that the Pakistan delegation does not have to leave Pakistan to attend the dialogue and the Indians do not have to leave India to attend.

  • Two, as in the case of the talks at the Hotel Majestic in Paris which brought the U.S.-Vietnam war to an end, there must be a fixed periodicity at which the two sides shall necessarily meet. In the Hotel Majestic case, the two sides met every Thursday, whether or not they had anything to say to each other. Indeed, even through the worst of what were called the “Christmas bombings” — when more bombs were rained on Vietnam than by both sides in the Second World War — the Thursday meetings were not disrupted. In a similar manner, we need to inure the India-Pakistan dialogue from disruption of any kind in this manner.
(From Way forward in India-Pakistan relations by Mr.Mani Shankar Aiyar)

No comments:

Post a Comment