Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf went out of his way to be friendly with his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, by shaking hands with him out of turn. Following that, Vajpayee all but admonished Musharraf for his conduct in the past, and appeared to “put him in his place”.
Vajpayee was not putting Musharraf in his place. He was putting himself in a good position for the Uttar Pradesh elections. Ever since the Agra summit, it has appeared that Musharraf and Abdul Sattar are more interested in clinching some sort of an agreement than the Indians.
But the Indian Prime Minister thrives on making irresponsible statement after irresponsible statement. Vajpayee, in Lucknow, clearly hinted at refuge in nuclear warfare if things came to that pass. Who suffers in nuclear exchanges? Civilians more than anyone else. It is nothing but bellicose posturing for the Uttar Pradesh elections, something that has always been characteristic of the Sangh Parivar.
Musharraf has been constantly encouraging towards talks and a friendly solution to things. Indian leadership in response should give up their hostile, irresponsible and arrogant behaviour
Let us hope that the brief encounter between Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit in Kathmandu will pave way to solve the Kashmir issue, the root-cause problem in their relationship, through dialogue.