Thursday, May 4, 2017

Sajjan Jindal's yatra

Hassan Khan,

There is nothing wrong with Jindal’s visit as a ‘messenger of peace’ in the tradition of Track-II diplomacy, but why continue keeping details of the meetings shrouded in secrecy

Khan image from article
The ruling Sharif family is once again in the news for all the wrong reasons. First, it was the Panamagate debacle and, now, the visit of Sajjan Jindal, a New Delhi-based business tycoon with friendly ties to the ruling family. Multiple reports over the last couple of years indicate that he has been serving as a mediator between Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
No official statement has yet been released to the media has on the purpose of Jindal’s visit, and rumour mill is abuzz with suggestions that he had arrived with a ‘secret’ message from Mr Modi. A meeting between the two premiers may be in the works on the sidelines of the next Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Kazakhstan.
The question remains: what message has New Delhi sent and why no press release has yet been issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)? ...
As for PM Sharif’s relations with Jindal, his government must issue a concrete explanation to clarify concerns regarding any conflict of interest in personal business and public diplomacy. A failure on this count will jeopardise the prime minister’s role as an impartial figure who’s already embroiled in several domestic controversies. Peace should remain the ultimate aim in South Asia but it should be achieved in a consistent manner that is in line with a consensus maintained through both countries official diplomatic channels.

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