Editorial - Keep on trying - Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Wikileaks saga is going to run for years, and will be mined for nuggets of data for a generation to come. One of the more interesting aspects of the whole affair is that whilst there have been a variety of embarrassments in the diplomatic community around the world as a result of the disclosures; there has been minimal challenge to the veracity of the content of the Wikileaks material. What we see with Wikileaks is a version of the truth that is closer than we generally get when fed a diet of diplomatic platitudes – designed to tell us little or nothing. Those diplomatic dealings now revealed relating to the Kashmir issue are of particular interest to us, and a report in this newspaper tells us that in the period immediately preceding the Mumbai attacks there was talk of a deal being on the table which both our President Zardari and India’s Manmohan Singh were prepared to sign up to.

Tantalisingly, we have no indication as to the content of the deal and a search of the Wikileaks database has turned up no flesh to put on the bones of the report that there was ‘a text’ ready for signature. The report comes from what may be assumed to be a reliable source – an official on the Pakistan Team of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who would never have expected her words to become public property and we may therefore assume to be free of the dissembling that would be the ‘wraparound’ if they were. There was a clearly expressed opinion on the British side that it was possible to do a deal on Kashmir and that the time was right to do so. A stumbling block was said to be our military command, which needed to be persuaded, but nowhere is there a suggestion that this was not possible. The deal never saw the light of day and went into the post-Mumbai deepfreeze. But today, post-World Cup and a discernible thawing in the freeze as our two prime ministers sat side by side to watch a historic encounter, the frost on the edges of ‘a text’ may be thawing. The solution to the Kashmir problem is not beyond our grasp – or India’s. That we have a reliable report of a proposed deal that both sides were close to signing is as clear an indicator as any that this is a goal that we can and should reach. Time to dust off ‘a text’ and for the wheels of diplomacy to turn a little faster.

Source : http://thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=39983&Cat=8

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