Intriguing paradigm?

His message is clear: normalisation must not be made hostage to a resolution of the Kashmir dispute. In other words, while there are going to be boundaries, it is important to make them irrelevant. This means that he is offering a new and intriguing paradigm, one for which there may not be a precedent.

This is an excerpt from the editorial of a reputed Pakistani newspaper, Dailytimes. Notice the phrases used: “one for which there may not be a precedent”, “intriguing paradigm”. The fact that these phrases have been used is in itself “intriguing”.

Quoting the Herald:

“I have a vision that the peace making process must ultimately culminate in our two countries entering into a treaty of peace, security and friendship to give meaning and substance to our quest for shared goals”, Singh said.
“I make this offer to the people of Pakistan on this historic occasion. I am sure the leadership of Pakistan will reciprocate”, he said.
The prime minister said “the time has come to leave behind the animosities and misgivings of the past and to think the unthinkable.”
Singh complimented Musharraf for taking ‘bold steps’ to curb extremism but said ‘more needs to be done in the interest of both India and Pakistan.’
On Musharraf’s oft-repeated statements that normalisation of bilateral relations cannot move forward unless the ‘core’ issue of J and K is resolved, the prime minister said “in my view, it is a mistake to link normalisation of other relations with finding a solution to J and K.”

From what I can see, Manmohan’s speech doesn’t deviate from traditional Indian stand; one of them being de-linking Kashmir from other confidence building measures. I was expecting the Pakistani press to label this speech as a mere “lip service”. That it hasn’t done. Now does that imply a change in opinion on the Pakistani side?

Surprisingly the (dork)Pakistani foreign ministry has welcomed this speech as well.

Referring to Singh’s speech, Aslam said that in addition to general cordial sentiments, there were a number of positive and important elements in his speech. She said Singh had spoken about finding pragmatic, practical solutions to the Kashmir dispute. She said Singh had suggested that the two countries could work towards making the Line of Control irrelevant. Dailytimes

The “centrality” of the Kashmir issue was not forgotten however:

Aslam said Kashmir lies “at the heart” of issues between Pakistan and India. She said that the Kashmir issue could not be put on the back burner because its solution could improve relations between the two countries.

So in a nutshell, both Indian and Pakistani administration are still sticking to their original position. Then how was the atmosphere of reconciliation created? The media from both the countries rallied behind — with clockwork precision. Was all this staged?

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