Oleg Artyukov: Musharraf suggests, Bhutto warns, Annan travels

The no-peace-no-war principle is predominant in the relations between India and Pakistan. There was a serious anxiety after the recent act of terrorism in the city of Calcutta that the armed conflict would inevitably start between these two countries, taking consideration of the fact that the Indian government accused the Pakistani special services of their connection to the act of terrorism. However, there is no armed conflict for the time being and there will not be, hopefully.

In the meantime, the President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf set forth another peace initiative. RIA Novosti informed, he offered to conclude the non-aggression pact between India and Pakistan. As Musharraf believes, the pact will create the conditions for turning the South Asia into the region, free from the nuclear weapon.

Of course, the Pakistani leader is trying to intercept the initiative from India with that offer, and India undertook not to use the nuclear weapon first in the probable conflict. Musharraf said, his suggestion was totally different from the Indian initiative. Nevertheless, India may not support the idea on the non-aggression pact, since the lack of confidence in Islamabad is really serious. In addition to that, the claim of the Indian authorities about the delivery of the terrorists, accused of the assault on the Indian parliament, has not been allowed yet.

The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, arrived in Islamabad today. The main goal of his visit is the attempt to make the leaders of both countries sit down at table and negotiate. Annan thinks that it is vital to do that after the act of terror in Calcutta, as soon as possible. But it is not likely to do it very quickly. It seems that neither Islamabad or Delhi are ready to make concessions on the principal questions. The public opinion in both India and Pakistan is not inclined towards the beginning of the serious talks. The Indians accuse the Pakistanis of the support of terrorists, the Pakistanis lay the same blame on the Indians. So it will be a very hard nut to crack for Kofi Annan.

Former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto (currently residing in great Britain) added fuel to the fire. In her opinion, the Pakistani administration did not trust the new Afghanistan government, thinking it is of the pro-Indian orientation. That is why Islamabad may try to destabilize the situation in the neighboring country.

Maybe it is true. But it should be reminded here that the elections are to take place in Pakistan in October of this year. Benazir Bhutto announced about her inclination to take part in them. Is it an attempt to get attention to her own persona? Can she hope for success in the elections after such statements?

This way or other, there is no positive shift in the relations between India and Pakistan. Let us see, if President Musharraf’s latest statements or Kofi Annan’s visit are going to change anything.

Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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