Indians in two minds over Singh’s visit
ISLAMABAD: Uncertainty hangs over the Indian prime minister’s proposed visit to Pakistan as New Delhi appears to be sceptical of any breakthrough because of the political instability here caused by the executive-judiciary tussle.
“Indians have doubts about the Zardari-Raja set-up’s preparedness to take important decisions and they have duly conveyed their feelings to Pakistan,” said a government official in the knowledge of government efforts aimed at persuading Dr Manmohan Singh to visit Islamabad.
Talking to Dawn, foreign office spokesperson Moazzam Ahmad Khan said Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna was due in Islamabad on Sept 8, but no decision had been taken as yet on Dr Singh’s trip.
However, if media reports are to be believed, Mr Krishna’s presence here will act as a prelude to his premier’s visit. And if all goes well, Dr Singh may turn up at the end of next month.
Dr Hassan Askari Rizvi, an analyst, said he wasn’t hopeful that Dr Singh would come to Islamabad in near future. “Yes, if the two countries agree to make some breakthrough on the issues of Siachen or Sir Creek, Dr Singh may agree to come here. He won’t come here merely for the sake of a photo opportunity,” Dr Rizvi said.
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, however, is looking forward to one high-profile encounter before he leaves office early next
year. And nothing can match a one-to-one with his Indian counterpart.
After Mr Ashraf rose to the helm of affairs in June, media in both countries highlighted the fact that both prime ministers had their roots in the Potohar region. (Dr Singh hails from Gah, Chakwal district).
President Zardari had extended a formal invitation to Dr Singh on July 27.