All the hard work put in by Pakistan's President Gen Pervez Musharraf and his spin doctors that he is the "best bet" for India to negotiate with, is coming unstuck.
The General's proposition that any change in Pakistan's power equations will see a more fundamentalist regime come to the fore is receiving a knocking from the very jehadi groups whom he would like to keep out of sight.
During the Agra summit, Gen Musharraf's apologists argued that he had nothing to gain by encouraging jehadi elements. But, on his departure from Agra, the militant groups operating freely from Pakistani soil have hailed the President in effusive terms.
If there was any doubt about who the jehadi groups see as "their man", it has been settled by the statements of the Lashkar-e-Toiba Amir Hafiz Sayeed. The LeT chief has said that the entire Pakistani nation should feel proud of the General.
At a Press conference in Lahore, Sayeed said that Gen Musharraf deserves "kudos from the whole nation for raising Kashmir issue in an un-equivocal manner before the Indian leadership in talks." The Amir said on Tuesday that the President had taken a step towards the "right direction by representing the sentiments of people of Pakistan. His candidness has exposed the stubbornness and aggression of India."
In what can only be an embarrassing comment for Gen Musharraf, the LeT chief termed as false "allegations of India that the dialogues have met failure owing to Mujahideen." He went on to state that "We had before hand prophesied that the talks cannot reach a successful end because India is not interested in showing a sincere posture in addressing the real issues."
To a question, he said that the people of Pakistan should brace themselves for taking the "freedom movement of Kashmir" to "its logical end".
He said "escalation" in "the process of dismemberment of India" will gain momentum and the separatists' movement will gain strength. He said any mediation move on Kashmir issue will not be acceptable to the people adding that Pakistan should not get itself involved in any such attempt.
While the LeT bared its views in its usual unsubtle fashion, the Pakistan foreign policy establishment persisted with its claim to have "definitely" reached a "working understanding" with India at the Agra summit to move ahead on nine identified areas.
Pakistan High Commissioner to New Delhi Ashraf Jehangir Qazi said that the two sides had selected three areas to be dealt with at the political level. For this purpose, the foreign ministers would meet to address issues of "Kashmir, peace and security and drugs and narcotics."
While New Delhi has set the record straight by pointing out that there was no agreement on the draft proposals -- let alone signing a declaration -- the Agra summit cannot be seen as anything more than a dead letter.
But even while articulating the draft, Pakistan has skillfully omitted any mention of terrorism. The basket of three issues which were proposed to be put together included Jammu and Kashmir, narcotics and terrorism. This apart from peace and security which refers to nuclear confidence building measures (CBMs).
This article was published in Dailypioneer website. I too am little bit dissappointed with the way things went. But still my Indian heart is proud of 'LK Advani'.. then, as called by many.. am I a hawk too ??