Will roaring Manmohan Singh hit Pakistan too?

Just a day after prime minister’s position was discredit by an angry and ill-mannered Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh took a tough stand against Pakistan in UN.

Just a day after prime minister’s position was discredit by an angry and ill-mannered Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh took a tough stand against Pakistan in UN.

In an almost cornering speech for Pakistan, Singh made it loud and clear that India will “never, ever” compromise on its territorial integrity of which Jammu & Kashmir was an integral part.

“State-sponsored cross-border terrorism is of particular concern to India, also on account of the fact that the epicentre of terrorism in our region is located in our neighbourhood in Pakistan. However, for progress to be made, it is imperative that the territory of Pakistan and the areas under its control are not utilised for aiding and abetting terrorism directed against India.

“It is equally important that the terrorist machinery that draws its sustenance from Pakistan be shut down. There must be a clear understanding of the fact that Jammu and Kashmir is integral part of India and that there can never, ever, be a compromise with the unity and territorial integrity of India,” he said in his address to the UN General Assembly.

The Prime Minister said terrorism remained a grave threat to security and stability everywhere and extracts a heavy toll of innocent lives around the world.

He attacked Pakistanon the issue of terrorism indirectly referring to the twin attacks launched by terrorists in the valley on Thursday. “From Africa to Asia, we have seen several manifestations of this menace in the last few days alone,” he said.

The Prime Minister is slated to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on Friday.

The India-Pakistan dialogue process was put on hold after an Indian soldier was beheaded on the Line of Control (LoC) in January. Ties hit a new low when five more soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops along the LoC last month.

The terror attacks near Jammu virtually threatened to derail the New York meeting, with main opposition BJP demanding that Singh call off his meeting with Sharif. But the PM decided to go ahead with the meeting, saying such attacks will not succeed in derailing the dialogue process.

Sharif had yesterday said that his government wanted strong relations with India which was a clear point made by him even before his election to the office. He said both countries have been spending heavily on defense which should have ordinarily been spent on social sectors.

“I said that we stand for strong relations with India, we stand for peaceful resolution of all our problems with India, including Kashmir. And I said that I’ll extend my hand of friendship to India if we get elected,” he reportedly said.

The Pakistan Prime Minister had referred to the resolution of the Security Council calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir. “We have already agreed that we should be resolving the issue of Kashmir, through peaceful means, through negotiations and talks, by sitting across the table,” he had said.

Trying to prove his point almost, he said that he was ousted from power in a military coup in 1999 because he started peace talks with India. Sharif was ousted from power in 1999 when then army chief Pervez Musharraf led a military coup against his government after the two developed differences in the wake of the Kargil conflict.

Interestingly, the Prime Minister of India had lost his vantage point with the failure of several peace accords with Pakistan during his nine and a half year stint in the office while the regimes in Pakistan kept changing. His sending a stern message to the neighbouring country, although an apt action, may well be a face-saving exercise in the world platform.

Undoubtedly, Pakistan is answerable to a number of failures in the history of India-Pakistan discourse which also includes repeated assaults on the LoC, poor conduct of Mumbai terror case and cross border terrorism.

The time and luck is by PM’s side, and for once he should show the country who has moved the dialogues into useless loops that India does not only roar, it hits too.

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