A Chat on Foreign Policy
I ordered his favourite Scotch with ice and a beer for me.
The Spokesman was even more gracious and offered me Havana Cigar.
As I inhaled, the cigar, the smoke brought all the questions racing to my head.
‘That was a great NAM Meeting you just had’, I started, sipping my beer.
‘Couldn’t have been better. Although we missed the Old Man - Castro - everything went very well especially P.M.’s meeting with General Musharaff’, said the spokesman taking big swigs of the whiskey.
‘ According to Police, both the perpetrators of Mumbai blasts and the World Trade Center blasts seem to have been trained at the same Training Centre. 7/11 and 9/11. Of course, you know 7/11; 11th July, the day the local trains were blasted in Mumbai.’
‘Very true. We have handed over photographs and details of the Training Camps in POK to the U.S. Government’.
The Spokesman called out the waiter and ordered for Vodka with ice. I was surprised with his change of menu, but I ordered some more beer for me.
The Cigar smoke hung around us and the air was getting hazy.
‘ The P.M. issued a joint statement with Gen. Musharaff that Pakistan is also a victim of terrorism. By the way, how will you jointly operate the mechanism of monitoring terrorism when your partner himself is known to indulge in the act?’ I asked.
The spokesman took a large gulp of vodka and said, ‘Look here! we are not absolving Pakistan’s support to militants across the border. In fact I have got that in my notes and show it to their Spokesman whenever we meet! The joint mechanism allows us to exchange notes as and when acts of terrorism are committed either in Kashmir, Mumbai or wherever in India. All the communication channels will be open and we will conduct joint investigations on motives, kind of bombs used and to ascertain whether it was done for freedom struggle etc’.
Next, the Spokesman ordered Red wine as I stuck with beer.
‘President Bush has asserted U.S.’ right to flush out Osama Bin Laden by sending his troops, if there is information Laden is holed up in Pakistan. Do you support that?’
‘Of course! Well, I mean, U.S has got every right to get Laden by whatever means it feels appropriate.’
‘Do you think that it will be against the sovereignty of Pakistan?’
Looking bewildered, the spokesman gulped a mouthful of wine and began defending his new ally. ‘You know, Pakistan has every right to defend itself if any outside force enters its country. What I mean to say is… I really don’t know!’
By now, our Foreign Policy appeared hazier to me than the smoke from the cigars. I could neither see him clearly nor see any logic in his answers.
‘One Last question before we go. Will your joint Partner, hand over Dawood Ibrahim to you since it is proved he is the mastermind and is also convicted in 1993 Bombay blasts?’
‘ You know, although we are partners in fight against terror, our joint mechanism is only for transfer of information, knowledge etc etc… but not people’ mumbled the spokesman.
May be because of the swirling cigar smoke, drinks, or our confusing foreign Policy, difficult to say which, I barely managed to stumble out holding an equally unsteady spokesman out to the open.
E.R.Ramachandran 28,September ,2006