The vibes from the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Zardari are excellent. The Indian establishment choreographed the event just fine. No grandstanding, no rhetoric, no rush into self-righteousness. Most important, there is hope that high-level meetings in future may become ‘routine’, frequent affairs.
Hopefully, these meetings will become increasingly like between Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy or between her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder and Vladimir Putin , although Germany and France or Germany and Russia went to such extent in history to destroy each other.
Evidently, Washington failed to pitchfork its agenda into the meeting in Delhi. PM did raise Hafiz Saeed “upfront”, but it wasn’t the dominant theme. Nor is it our intention to collect $10 million from US.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi wasn’t present at the lunch (which was attended by 4 senior most ministers in the Indian cabinet and the leader of the opposition in the parliament). Was it a considered decision? To my mind, it was. Was it a personal decision? No way. Was it taken by 10 Janpath in consultation with the PMO? Yes, it most likely has been.
Why was such a decision taken? To my mind, this most sensible decision was taken in order not to overshadow the encounter between Rahul Gandhi and Bilawal Zardari Bhutto. The lunch wasn’t meant to be a family affair or a social event. It was a lunch that provided an informal setting for statesmen to discuss matters of great import to over 1300 million people on the planet.
Was Sonia Gandhi ‘distancing’ herself symbolically from the India-Pakistan dialogue process and the PM’s Pakistan policy? Of course not. With Rahul Gandhi endorsing the dialogue with such manifest enthusiasm as to even contemplate a visit to Pakistan, why should Sonia Gandhi be ‘distancing’? It’s common sense, Stupid!
Posted in Uncategorized.
– April 9, 2012