- Any misstep could be harmful for the country
A politician’s performance is judged neither by his intentions nor the efforts he makes, but by the results he produces. Prime Minister Imran Khan had visited Saudi Arabia after a number of calls made to Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. While Pakistan desperately needed support over Kashmir, for the Saudis the most crucial issue was the attack on their oil facilities. The Saudi newspapers mentioned in detail that Mr Imran Khan condemned the attacks on the oil facilities and pledged his country’s support to Saudi Arabia in confronting these attacks. It is however perturbing that there was no mention in the Saudi media about King Salman or the Crown Prince extending any assurance to Pakistan on Kashmir.
Two days ahead of Mr Khan’s arrival in the USA, the State Department welcomed his ‘unambiguous’ and ‘important’ statement sternly warning Pakistanis wanting to fight in Indian-Occupied Kashmir. Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump had told media that “a lot of progress” had been made in defusing India-Pakistan tensions. The statement has raised questions about possible backchannel talks going on. The government expects the opposition to stand behind it over Kashmir. For this it needs to take Parliament on board over its diplomatic moves and their outcome. Nowhere in the world do the Opposition parties sign blank cheques.
If torrential rains do no upset the ‘Howdy Modi!’ event in Houston, the Indian Prime Minister would address over 50,000 Indian-Americans on Sunday. Pakistani Americans are supposed to hold a rally against Modi’s Kashmir policy in the city the same day. President Trump will become the first US President to participate in a rally to honour a visiting foreign leader. The motive is presumably to woo Indian voters in the forthcoming elections. But President Trump cannot ignore Pakistani voters either. After attending the rally, he is to meet Mr Khan. It remains to be seen what the unpredictable President Trump has up his sleeve. There is a possibility that he might try to arrange a meeting between the two prime ministers. One expects Mr Khan to stick to his position of no talks before conditions set by Pakistan are met.