Negative impact on the peace-process

For Pakistan’s foreign minister, everything is connected

Khurshid Kasuri’s devotion to the India-Pakistan peace-process is commendable, at least for pointing out the various things that can negatively impact it.

In recent weeks he has commented that the emerging dispute over sharing of the waters of the Indus river system will have a bearing on the confidence-building measures between the two countries. While it is Pakistan that has been moving the World Bank to set into motion the arbitration process, he urged India not to make it into a dispute.

And now it is the turn of the SAARC summit: he has declared that India’s decision to cancel the South Asian summit — due to its concerns over the political situation in Bangladesh and Nepal — will have a negative impact on the peace process between India and Pakistan!

Kasuri is not wrong, for these matters do have a certain bearing on the relations between India and Pakistan, but only in a very indirect or a roundabout manner. The peace process itself has a well-defined agenda, and there are enough issues on the table that need to be taken up and resolved. Loading extraneous issues before there are breakthroughs on what is already on the plate will only serve to slow the peace-process down. The problem is, that more than anything else, it is the ‘slow pace’ of the peace process that bugs Kasuri and his bosses.