Daily Archives: March 11, 2010
High-level talks in February, billed by some as a failure, actually set the stage for progress.
WSJ Op-ed by Najam Sethi, 07 March 2010
On initial appearances, the first high-level bilateral talks between India and Pakistan since November 2008 weren’t a success. When the two foreign secretaries convened in New Delhi on Feb. 25, at times it was as if they were at different meetings. The Indians tried to focus on terrorism sponsored from within Pakistan, while the Pakistanis wanted a broader dialogue. In the end, there was no noteworthy result. But appearances in this case are deceiving. This meeting is likely to prove more successful than many expect.
That’s because interests on both sides are at last correctly aligned to give talks a shot at success. For India, it has been a matter of reaching several conclusions at the same time. First, New Delhi has failed to browbeat Islamabad into steps like cracking down on Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terrorist group responsible for the Nov. 2008 Mumbai attacks. Indian saber rattling alone hasn’t done the trick, just as in 2002 when India’s armed forces tried but failed to intimidate Pakistan into halting the flow of jihadis into the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir. Continue reading