Blistering barnacles! Or, should we say ‘Thundering typhoons’! The offer made by Nepal to play mediator between India and Pakistan makes one remember Captain Haddock’s exclamations in the comic-book series Tintin. The offer of mediation on Kashmir and terrorism was made by Nepalese “sources” during a briefing on Saturday to a group of visiting Indian journalists in Kathmandu. While Nepal’s push for the revival of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) is understandable, its offer of mediation has left most flummoxed. Why would New Delhi agree to Kathmandu being the interlocutor, asked an Indian diplomat especially when India has always maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral issue, Kathmandu’s homily to New Delhi during the briefing was to say that dialogue was the best way forward (India and Pakistan have not been on talking terms for a long time now). Is the mediation offer indicative of Kathmandu’s desperate efforts to see SAARCs revival so that it can get rid of its chairmanship, a role it has had for the last six years?
January 17, 2021
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