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Islamabad talks were 'brutal and frank': Kasuri

K J M Varma in Islamabad | January 15, 2004 18:54 IST

The breakthrough in India-Pakistan peace process came about after "brutal and frank" exchanges at the January 5 meeting in Islamabad between Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and President Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri has said.

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He said at times others present at the meeting felt the informal summit would head for a breakdown.

"There were moments when I was worried by some exchanges between the two. Then I realised, of course they were speaking the way they did because they have already achieved a certain degree of understanding which allowed them to speak so frankly," Kasuri, who was present at the meeting, told PTI in an interview in Islamabad on Wednesday night.

Recalling the tense, hour-long meeting, he said only leaders of great stature and understanding could speak with such candid frankness.

He said the most striking aspect about the meeting between the two leaders was the way with which they represented their national interests. "They are brutally frank and both were equally conscious that it is in the interest of their countries. The reason for brutal frankness is not negative. It is a desire to get across to other without any doubts in the other person's mind. It is not to rock the boat, that is clearly understood," he said.

Kasuri said the two leaders were able to have such open and frank discussion due to the understanding developed between them at the Agra summit. "I could see very clearly in the meetings at the highest level that they understand each other [better] than the rest of us do."

Kasuri said the new peace process between the two countries was also possible because of a host of other reasons --
the negative focus on South Asia by the rest of the world, fears advocated by the international community of a nuclear holocaust in the event of a war between two sides and the popular desire in both countries for peace.

"Whether leadership wanted it or not, the people of both the countries became aware of the dangers they faced in case
of war. They realised that they gain by cooperating with each other," he said.

At another level, the breakthrough achieved by several trade blocs like the European Union also had an impact on the mindsets in the region as people bemoaned the lack of such a united approach, he said.

Kasuri said in his assessment the 'tensions' between Hindus and Muslims in India also contributed to the change of mindset in India.

Admitting that his view of India is that of an "outsider pretending to have a clear view," Kasuri said he was touched
by people effected by Gujarat riots celebrating the resumption of the India-Pak peace process by lighting candles. "It appears that it is their way of telling that friendly ties between India and Pakistan could improve their lives."

Kasuri said while peace process has taken off, it should acquire the firmness to withstand any major incidents.

"Do not get carried away. One or two incidents can have a devastating impact. We, therefore, need to create a momentum. Even if those incidents take place, then we would not be derailed. It can come about, if there is greater trust between the two countries.

"Trust can be generated if there are frequent interactions. Do not waste too much time. Do not take too many risks." he said.


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Number of User Comments: 1

Sub: Mr. Kasuri why do not your country mind your own buisness

Mr. Kasuri, i will give an adivse to you and your country politicians, Why do not you mind your own buisness, why are you intrested ...

Posted by Rama


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