A bold step back
“Why leave the plebiscite (demand) when the vibe on the other side is they don’t want to move an inch beyond their stated position? We will only leave (the plebiscite demand) if India is prepared to show flexibility. At the moment, no sir, we don’t see that.” President Musharraf also said violence would only stop when peace dialogue moved forward. “Certainly whoever is doing the violence, the freedom struggle, the people who are fighting for the freedom, will get encouraged and it will automatically reduce. Nothing is going from Pakistan. Everything is indigenous, it’s happening inside Kashmir.” [DT]
Gen Musharraf likes to portray himself as a sincere statesman willing to take great risks for the sake of peace. But if that sincerity were genuine, he would not be quick to take back whatever he had put on the negotiating table, the moment he senses that the vibes from India were not to his liking. That sacred object of Pakistani foreign policy dogma — the demand for the implementation of ancient UN resolutions — is not about to be abandoned after all. Proof, again, that Musharraf’s sincerity is yet to take the form of an irreversible, permanent commitment. Very tactical, very commando-like, but hold on, where’s the statesman stuff?
Related Link: Varnam on Musharraf’s options