Neither India nor Pakistan faintly near breakthrough on Kashmir : US Expert

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Washington, July 31 (ANI): A former American diplomat believes that neither New Delhi nor Islamabad is anywhere near to solving the Kashmir issue.

"Neither government is near a breakthrough on Kashmir," said Teresita Schaffer, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia.

Schaffer said that while Dr. Manmohan Singh has shown great courage in defending his step at Sharm-el-Sheikh to press for peace in the region, the Pakistan government is far from taking any such step.

"Arguably, post election, Manmohan Singh would be able to take a political solution public, although the dustup over the communiqui suggests he's going to have wait some while. But Pakistan isn't even close to doing that," she said.

Referring to the controversial joint statement, Schaffer said the document would hardly have an impact on diplomatic talks between two countries.

She believed that whenever the foreign secretaries of both countries meet, they would give majority of time to Mumbai attacks.

"The next time the foreign secretaries of the two countries do sit down, they are going to spend 97 percent of their time talking about [the attacks on] Mumbai," Schaffer said.

Experts believe that agreement between India and Pakistan to maintain a status quo may have prompted the Mumbai attacks, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

"India's economy is developing so rapidly that India is just seeking a way to continue containing Pakistan and running out the clock, since a day will come when economic strength will translate into an unassailable military and diplomatic position. Pakistan's senior military leaders know this and are desperate to get a favorable settlement on Kashmir before it's too late," said Hafeez Malik, a South Asia expert at Villanova University. (ANI)

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