Pragmatic | Fireworks, not fire

The build-up to the meeting of India-Pakistan foreign ministers at Delhi

From the Indian Home Minister’s opening remarks at the Fourth SAARC Interior/Home Ministers Meeting:

Honourable Members, The South Asian region is perhaps the most troubled and vulnerable region in the world. The vast majority of major terrorist incidents this year – as well as last year – have occurred in this region. Terrorist groups in this region have flourished because of the support they have found from State and non-State actors. Sometimes, I think that the distinction between State actors and non-State actors is misplaced and intended to misdirect our efforts to deal with terrorist groups at the very source – the recruitment centres, the training camps and their safe havens and sanctuaries. If I may speak frankly, let me say that no State and no Government can escape responsibility by pointing to non-State actors. As long as the territory of a country is used by non-State actors to prepare for terrorist attacks, that country owes a legal and moral responsibility to its neighbours and to the world to suppress those non-State actors and bring them to justice.[PIB]

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that Mr Chidambaram’s statement was directed at Pakistan.The lack of progress was flagged by an Indian government source in Delhi too.

During the talks between external affairs minister S M Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar on July 27, the Indian side will emphasise that Pakistan needs to take action on 26/11 cases because terror-free atmosphere is very important for the talks to be more meaningful and productive.[HT]

It is not that only the Indians have been talking tough. Pakistan PM, reacting to the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement asking India to play a leadership role in the Asia-Pacific, said that “we do not want any chaudhry [chieftain]” in the region.

However these barbs are not an indicator of things to come. The India-Pakistan Foreign minister’s meeting will, in all probability, be without any fireworks. We can instead expect announcement of some confidence-building measures over Kashmir at the end of the meeting.

DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.