Indian journo says we should not pin much hopes on Manmohan-Zardari meet

September 23rd, 2008 - 11:31 am ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

By Naveen Kapoor
Frankfurt, Sept 23 (ANI): India should not pin much hopes on Wednesdays meeting between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session, says Harish Khare, Senior Editor of Indian English daily The Hindu.
He said that since Zardari was new to the office of Pakistan President, not much should be expected from the meeting.
We should not pin many hopes on tomorrows meeting between Manmohan Singh and Zardari because the latter has just taken over as the President of Pakistan and he is new to this position. Everybody knows about the current equations in Pakistan and everyone has doubts on the powers that Zardari enjoys, Khare said while talking to ANI.
Over the past two years when India was holding talks with former Pakistan President Musharraf even then there was uncertainty. Likewise nobody knows who is controlling whom. So in this context we shouldnt have much hopes from this meeting, Khare added.
Wednesday’’s meeting will be the first between the two leaders since Zardari assumed the office of President and since both countries suffered deadly bombings in their respective national capitals in the last week.
Repeated ceasefire violations on the LoC, and Pakistan’’s blatant interference in Indias internal affairs by threatening to take the Amarnath Shrine forest land row issue in Jammu to the United Nations, has drawn New Delhi’’s ire, and put the ongoing peace process between the two countries ””under stress””.
The peace process between India and Pakistan began in 2004 and is now in its fifth round. The Joint Working Group on Trade has also met in New Delhi on Monday.
Zardari has tried to break the ice during his inaugural parliament speech, saying that both Pakistan and India need to creatively reinvent their existing relationship.
However, authoritative government sources told ANI that they expect very little forward movement from Pakistan on all issues, as Zardari possesses little power.
Indian sources further claimed that multiple power centers are at play in Islamabad. They also see Pakistan’’s Army Chief Asfaq Parvez Kayani going the Musharraf way and letting the present political morass play itself out and go his way.
The sources also alleged that Pakistan’’s Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) continues to have a key role to play in acts of cross border terrorism and LOC infiltrations.
One source further said that New Delhi will engage with Zardari because he is the president.
The meeting between Dr. Singh and President Zardari is being seen as crucial, as it could very well set the course for future Indo Pak relations. (ANI)

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