Ignore Masarat Alam: Bigger news was PM Modi breaking ice with Pakistan

Narendra Modi wishing the Pakistan on its National Day and inviting the country for dialogue ought to have been bigger news than separatist Masarat Alam being invited for dinner with Abdul Basit from the Pakistan envoy.

It is time to go beyond these issues and stop giving a standard for Kashmir if we need to settle the issue, former officer with the Research and Analysis Wing, V Balachandran tells OneIndia.

Narendra Modi breaks the ice with Pak

On Pakistan's National Day, its envoy in India, Abdul Basit stirred a controversy in the media by inviting Masarat Alam who has just been released from jail. Alam a separatist who was detained under the Public Safety Act was released and this had caused a major controversy.

At the same time Prime Minister Modi today wished the Pakistan Prime Minister and also tweeted "it is my firm conviction that all outstanding issues can be resolved through bilateral dialogue in an atmosphere free from terror & violence.

Bigger news was invite by Modi

V Balachandran says that the bigger news ideally was Modi inviting Pakistan for bilateral dialogue. He has spoken of an atmosphere free from terror from violence and this is the bigger development for me considering talks had come to a halt.

The former R&AW officer also says that issues such as invite for Alam are actually non-issues. There is no bar on him being invited by the envoy. India cannot clamp down on such invites.

Alam has neither been convicted nor is there is a war like situation in the country to impose any such restrictions, Balachandran also points out. The Prime Minister has said let us talk and this is not the time to dig out smaller issues.

According to me the invite to Alam must be ignored and India and Pakistan should proceed with talks. The real issues lie in the talks between the two Prime Ministers and not in the invite for Alam, the officer further points out.

Solution is key

As long as the two Prime Ministers are talking with each other none of the other issues make any difference. Both the leaders are capable of understanding the issues and can differentiate between the important and not so important events.

The Alam issue is being dragged in unncessarily and it is unfortunate that it has cast a shadow over what the Prime Minister had said earlier during the day. India is capable of handling the Hurriyat or the separatists.

Government's stand

The foreign ministry today said that the government of India prefers to speak for itself. There should be no scope for misunderstanding or misrepresenting India's position on the role of the so-called Hurriyat.

Let me reiterate there are only two parties and there is no place for a third party in resolution of India-Pakistan issues, Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson in the external affairs ministry said.

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