Kashmir and terrorism in back channel: Sethi

1 August 2009
The Daily Times

Daily Times Monitor LAHORE: India and Pakistan have pushed the issues of Kashmir and cross-border terrorism to the back channel in order to achieve progress in the bilateral peace process, Daily Times Editor-In-Chief Najam Sethi said on Saturday. In an interview with Karan Thapar aired by Dunya TV, Sethi said with the rising number of voices in India criticising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for de-linking Indo-Pak peace talks from terrorism were matched only by a large section of the Pakistani population criticising Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for not mentioning the Kashmir issue in the joint statement issued in Sharm el Sheikh. Shifting these two outstanding issues to the back channel was essential to achieving progress in the bilateral dialogue, he said. Sethi also said there was no real and enduring tension between the prime minister and the president of Pakistan. He said a few interested circles wanted to see a stronger prime minister and a weaker president in the country’s democratic set up. Sethi said Zardari did not have a team capable of effectively countering the on-going crises in the country.