So, having been the source of a well-directed plant that led to commotion and friction between India and Pakistan in New York, Hamid Mir in a column in today’s Jang entitled “Alvida, Manmohan Singh” argues that the end is nigh where Manmohan Singh’s tenure as PM is concerned and that Pakistan is better off waiting for India’s general elections to conclude before pursuing dialog on bilateral issues. Excerpts follow:
Nawaz Sharif’s attempts at bringing to attention the Kashmir issue in New York angered Manmohan Singh who then used his meeting with U.S. president Barack Obama to spread propaganda against Pakistan and level accusations against us during his UNGA address.
But Manmohan Singh forgets that the attack on the Samjhauta Express occurred during his own tenure and that there has yet to be any sentencing, despite the fact that a retired colonel of the Indian army was identified as being involved in the incident. Indeed, during Dr. Singh’s tenure, a covert unit under the command of Gen. VK Singh was planning to spread terror in Pakistan.
There is no doubt that non-state actors from Pakistan have targeted India; however, these non-state actors have been targeting Pakistan far more than they have India over the last few years. Such non-state actors are also present in India. But India ignores its internal actors and blames Pakistan instead.
Nawaz Sharif was clear in his conversations with Manmohan Singh that Pakistan desires peace, but let India not mistake this desire as a sign of weakness. Nawaz Sharif’s inclusion of Kashmir in his address to the UNGA angered Manmohan Singh enough to complain to Barack Obama. Perhaps Manmohan Singh was under the illusion that Barack Obama had a remote through which he could control Nawaz Sharif’s speech and compel him to not bring up the Kashmir issue at the UNGA.
Ultimately, Nawaz Sharif did meet with Manmohan Singh, but this was a meeting to bid farewell. Manmohan Singh’s tenure as PM will end in a few months. He will retire and perhaps write a memoir recollecting his inconclusive negotiations with Gen. Musharraf. Pakistan and Nawaz Sharif, however, should pursue plans for rapprochement with a new leadership after the elections in India. [روزنامہ جنگ]
What does this all mean for India? As a result of the meeting between Dr. Singh and Nawaz Sharif, the DGMOs of India and Pakistan are set to meet to discuss plans to restore the sanctity of the LoC. However, Pakistan apparently doesn’t see any incentive to restore the ceasefire until it is able to negotiate with an Indian leadership post the general elections in May 2014.
Translation for India: expect a hot border for the next several months. The LoC ceasefire is not likely to be restored any time soon.