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'No breakthrough, Kashmir left for another day'

Last updated on: June 25, 2011 14:54 IST

'No breakthrough, Kashmir left for another day'

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Notwithstanding the agreement on various confidence building measures during the India-Pakistan foreign secretary-level talks, most sections of the Pakistani media contended on Saturday that the parleys did not lead to any "major breakthrough" and the most crucial issue of Kashmir was "left for another day".

The headline in The Express Tribune daily read, "Just talks, no major breakthrough."

The News's headline on the front page was "Pak-India talks end without any major decision" while the right-wing The Nation daily headlined its report "Kashmir left for another day."

The top diplomats of India and Pakistan concluded their two-day talks on Friday "without any major breakthrough on the longstanding Kashmir dispute" after Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said the issue could not be resolved under "the shadow of the gun", The Express Tribune reported.



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'Two sides just reiterated their stated position'

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The Nation said, "To the dismay of Pakistanis, the two sides just reiterated their stated position on Kashmir, apparently putting the most crucial issue for another day."

The Business Recorder daily too reported that the talks had concluded "without any breakthrough" though the two sides had agreed to hold another round of dialogue before their foreign ministers meet in New Delhi in July.

The News said in its report that the talks concluded "without any breakthrough other than an agreement to meet again in New Delhi" ahead of the ministerial talks.


Image: Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir

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'Continue discussions on Jammu and Kashmir'

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Both the pro-army Pakistan Observer and The Statesman dailies, however, noted in their reports that India and Pakistan had agreed to "narrow their divergence" on the Kashmir issue and to continue their discussions to find a solution to the dragging issue by building convergences.

The Frontier Post reported that the foreign secretaries had concluded their talks on a "positive note and agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation on counter-terrorism."

The liberal Daily Times too noted that the two countries had "agreed to continue discussions on Jammu and Kashmir in a purposeful and forward looking manner with the view to finding a peaceful solution by narrowing divergences."


Image: A Pakistani Ranger and an Indian Border Security Force officer shake hands at the Wagah border post

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'The facade of cordiality and progress'

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The influential Dawn newspaper noted in its front page report that India had said it could discuss the Kashmir issue "only if the 'shadow of gun' -- a pointed reference to terrorist groups targeting India -- was removed."

The report contended this assertion by India "blew away the facade of cordiality and progress that both sides tried to build using all possible feel-good phrases."


Image: Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir

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'Parleys ended with good optics'

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"Still, the foreign secretaries made it a point to end the parleys with good optics," the report said, referring to the decision to hold meetings of several groups of experts to discuss various confidence-building measures ahead of the ministerial talks in July.

The two-day talks had focussed on the Kashmir issue, peace and security, including nuclear and conventional confidence-building measures, and the promotion of friendly exchanges.

The two sides exchanged a wide array of proposals on possible CBMs and friendly exchanges, ranging from an Indian proposal to include cruise missile launches in a pact on pre-notification of missile tests to a Pakistani suggestion for a women's cricket series.


Image: Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir

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