One more round of Indo-Pak foreign ministerial meet took place in July last. Indian media was swayed by the youthful and boisterous Hina Rabbani Khar. No immediate and positive results emerged from the meeting but the two countries agreed to widen the scope of CBMs as well as expand cross-LoC trade besides extending the date of visa.
The only positive outcome of this round of talks was that both the countries agreed in a joint announcement to continue the process of dialogue. India did try to create bitterness in the Indian media on Hina Khar agreeing to meet with such Kashmir leaders as uphold the manifesto of Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan. Nevertheless, India did not carry the complaint further. Evidently had not India liked it, these Kashmiri leaders would not have been able to meet with Hina. House arrest orders are something too frequent for Gilani Sahib and Shabbir Shah. People are making a joke of it now by saying that even for ablution Gilani Sahib will have to put up an application to lift the order of his house arrest.
Therefore India’s acceptance of a meeting between Hina Khar and Kashmir separatists was a foregone conclusion. Knowledgeable circles believe that Hina Khar implored both the factions of Hurriyat not to disrupt Indo-Pak dialogue and no violence allowed in the State. She added that Kashmiri leadership could not be included in the talks for the time being.
Pakistan’s internal situation is uncertain. Pakistan-US relations are on the downslide. Subsequent to Osama bin Laden’s killing, US leadership exerted pressure on Pakistan. The US did not accept Pakistan’s stand that her Army and intelligence establishment were uninformed about Osama. The US has withheld about 800 million dollars of aid to Pakistan Army. Further to it, pressure is being brought on Pakistan in regard to her nuclear arsenal. Under this pressure, Pakistanis arrested a Brigadier for allegedly supporting the militants.