Will Singh, Zardari break the ice ?

Resolution of Kashmir issue should consider Kashmiris wishes: Burns

As both Singh and Zardari will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit at the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, speculation is rife whether or not the two leaders would try to end the post 26/11 diplomatic chill between India and Pakistan.

What fuelled the speculation is the US Under Secretary of State William J Burns’ statement on Thursday that Washington indeed wanted New Delhi and Pakistan to resume the stalled peace-process.

Burns not only pushed New Delhi to resume the peace-process with Islamabad, but also toed the Pakistani line on the Indo-Pak dispute over Kashmir.

He said that the wishes of the people of Kashmir should be taken into account to resolve the dispute. The US official called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the second day of his visit to Delhi.

He is believed to have handed over to Singh a letter from the US President Barack Obama. Obama, according to Burns, wrote to Singh that he was committed to “broaden and deepen” the Indo-US bilateral relations.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon are understood to have told Burns on Wednesday that New Delhi was ready to resume the talks with Islamabad if the latter created a conductive situation by bringing the 26/11 masterminds and perpetrators to justice and took credible actions to dismantle all terrorist instrumentalities in Pakistan.

Burns also appeared to be sharing New Delhi’s concerns on Thursday and said that Pak had a special responsibility to bring the perpetrators to justice.

He said that Washington would continue to press Islamabad to carry on the probe into the 26/11 attacks and to take actions against anti-India terrorist organisations in Pakistan.

New Delhi, however, is yet to give a clear signal on whether the US nudge would make Singh break the ice with Zardari in the SCO meet in Russia.

“They would definitely run into each other at Yekaterinburg. But whether it would be just a handshake and exchange of pleasantries or a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit is something which has not yet been decided,” said a high-placed source in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Burns also met the National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and Leader of Opposition L K Advani on Thursday.
DH News Service

Comments (+)