‘Zardari`s visit cause for cautious optimism’

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - 13:40

Washington: Pakistani President Asif Ali
Zardari`s planned visit to India is a cause for cautious
optimism, an eminent American think-tank chief has said,
noting that serious question remains if the ISI would allow
for any semblance of reduction of tension in ties.

Zardari`s planned visit in April shows a thawing of the
freeze in relations between the two countries since the Mumbai
attacks of November 26, 2011, Asia Society President Vishakha
Desai said.

"In the past year, some winds of change seem to be in
air," Desai said in a statement.

Zardari is scheduled to visit India on April 8 to pay
obeisance at the Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in
Ajmer.

"The announcement that President Zardari will visit
India should be a cause of cautious optimism for all who care
about the long term peaceful relationships between the two
countries," she said.

However, some serious questions remain, Desai said based
on her past experiences.

"Will the Pakistani military, especially ISI, allow for
any semblance of reduction of tension when their very
existence is predicated upon their sense of competition with
India?" she asked.

India is extremely concerned about the fate of
Afghanistan and the role of Pakistan`s military in the
aftermath of American troops withdrawal from the region, Desai
said.

"The huge trust deficit between the foreign policy
establishments in both countries will require a strong action
and a clear vision from the leaders of the two countries. It
remains to be seen if they have what it takes to put this
troubled relationship on a positive path," Desai said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - 13:40

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