SEPT 26- Government sources have indicated that despite the terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to go ahead with his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“The prime minister agreed to the talks because he wanted to raise the terror issue, after this strike, he intends to raise the issue with renewed vigour,” said MEA sources.
From the very beginning the PM and his foreign policy advisors have tried to underplay the meeting. The official confirmation of the meeting came just an hour before the PM boarded his plane for his five day trip to the US, while most people knew of the meeting weeks ago.
As it is the Prime Minister’s office as well as the Foreign Office has been trying to tone down expectations from the meeting between the two Prime Ministers, and it can be safely assumed that even if the talks were to go ahead, the PM would approach it extremely cautiously.
The terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir just days ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with his Pakistani counterpart in New York on Sunday confirms the worst fears of those conversant with the dynamics of the Indo Pak peace process.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been subjected to criticism from the Opposition for his initiatives on Pakistan and given the latest terror strike; there will be renewed calls from the Opposition not to go ahead with the talks.
In the wake of the terror strike, the PM and his foreign policy advisors will have to weigh the risks of going ahead with talks and further incurring the wrath of the opposition at home or calling of the talks and thereby “giving the jihadi elements and terror groups a veto over the peace process.”