It seems that the joint statement itself has become a subject of scandal. This is nothing but pettiness. Here is Daily Times’ report on it:
India-Pakistan diplomatic duel on joint statement
* Pakistani diplomat says document ‘balanced statement addressing real issues’
* Indian diplomat stresses meeting only talked about ‘limited’ dialogue process
* Contends India has nothing to do with Balochistan
* Says India has to think very carefully before involving ISI in talks
By Iftikhar Gilani
NEW DELHI: The controversies over the joint statement of the prime ministers of India and Pakistan issued in Egypt, intensified on Friday as New Delhi and Islamabad entered a diplomatic duel to advance their own theories.
A Pakistani diplomat referred to the document as “a balanced statement addressing the real issues”.
A top Indian diplomat involved in the talks, however, stressed that all that was brought up in the two leaders’ meeting concerned the start of a “limited” dialogue process at the foreign secretary level. And the talks would remain focused on terrorism only.
He also said no dossier was given by Pakistan on Balochistan. The Pakistani diplomat here insisted that information about Balochistan was shared with India during bilateral talks in the Egyptian city of Sharm el Sheikh.
The Indian diplomat stressed that Pakistan neither denied nor accepted a news report on a dossier and that makes it clear that no such dossier was handed over. Only one document, one and a half page long, was handed over by the Pakistani foreign secretary on July 14 and it listed actions taken by Pakistan after the Mumbai attacks with reference to five persons declared proclaimed offenders. Its title also mentioned only Mumbai.
The Pakistani diplomat’s take was that he did not understand “all the fuss over a dossier”, but “when there is mention of Balochistan in the joint statement, that indicates that some information was shared”. Moreover, the information shared can be both written as well as verbal, he added.
Balochistan: The Indian diplomat contended that India had nothing to do with Balochistan and therefore “we have nothing to hide”.
On the drafting of the joint statement, the Indian diplomat said the foreign secretaries of the two countries met on July 14 and continued talks through July 15 while the two prime ministers met alone.
The Pakistani diplomat said after the two PMs finished discussions, both foreign secretaries were called in and briefed.
The Indian diplomat said Singh had made it “very clear to Gilani, Zardari and every person we have spoken to from the Pakistan side that terrorism has to be addressed first and foremost”.
He was, however, quite frank to admit that “as of now, Pakistan has done a lot more than was expected” but added that “it’s still not enough to resume composite dialogue”.
The Pakistani diplomat said he did not understand the hullabaloo in India over the sidelining of terrorism. “The joint statement is positive and talks about forward movement. It also recognises terrorism as the single most threat and refers to ways to tackle it jointly,” he said.
On the joint statement having no word on Kashmir the Pakistani diplomat said “all the same, it is a core issue among the outstanding issues”.
He contended that absence of Kashmir’s mention could also be a quid-pro-quo to give the Indian PM a room to de-link terrorism from talks. On the Indian foreign secretary’s remark about “bad drafting” of the joint statement, the Pakistani diplomat said, “It may have a convoluted language, but reference to Balochistan is clear.”
Both diplomats also reflected on the reports of the Pakistani military agency, ISI, wanting to get involved in talks on the Mumbai terror attacks. The Pakistani diplomat said it was the service representatives of the Indian High Commission who sought a meeting with the ISI chief on July 5 and that was granted.
“I don’t know from where this news of ISI wanting to be part of political dialogue has come,” he remarked.
ISI: The Indian diplomat said India has to think very carefully before involving ISI in talks. “On one hand, ISI is an important part of the establishment but at the same time also the source of trouble, “ he said.