Nawaz Sharif-Manmohan meeting in jeopardy: Pakistani daily

Islamabad, Aug 13 (IANS) The border killings coupled with intense shelling on the Line of Control has left the proposed meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in New York next month in jeopardy, a daily said Tuesday.

"As Pakistan and India ratchet up their confrontation on the Line of Control (LoC), it is difficult to avoid a despairing sense of déjà vu," said an editorial in the News International.

India claimed that "our (Pakistani) soldiers crossed into their territory and killed their army men".

"...We have obliged the narrative by accusing Indian soldiers of kidnapping Pakistani villagers. All the while there is intensified shelling on the LoC. This may not lead to all-out war but the ramifications will nonetheless be severe."

The daily said that Pakistan is already talking of scaling back its diplomatic mission in New Delhi, especially after protestors tried to storm the building.

"The hawks in India, both in the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and the media, are indulging in their usual Pakistan-bashing and the proposed meeting between Nawaz Sharif and Manmohan Singh in New York next month now seems to be in jeopardy."

The daily went on to say that Nawaz Sharif came to power with "a peace agenda that now seems to be in tatters".

"There was talk that we would finally grant India Most-Favoured Nation status. These hopes have now been officially dismissed by the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar who says the MFN is not on the cards any time soon."

It said that India is "once again using the cudgel of Dawood Ibrahim and Hafeez Saeed as an excuse to derail peace efforts".

Pakistan's army chief General Parvez Ashfaq Kayani had just months ago made the policy statement that a paradigm shift has occurred and the threat had shifted to the western border from the east.

"But now Pakistan is threatening to move troops from the tribal areas to the eastern border, which would be highly unfortunate given that the TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan) is carrying out almost daily attacks."

"Such incidents have a way of metastasising and no longer remaining in the control of politicians. Neither India nor Pakistan should want to lose the diplomatic gains of the last few years in so speedy and reckless a manner," it added.

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