In keeping with the policy of avoiding bilateral talks with Pakistan as long as it doesn’t abjure terror as state policy, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj won’t meet Pakistan’s Khawaja Asif at the UN this week though both will attend the SCO and Saarc multilateral meetings. Not to be distracted by Pakistan’s noise over Kashmir and its threat to raise the issue before the world body is the wisest course of action. The UN’s inability to do anything about a strictly bilateral issue is well-known. In any case, the issue was probably settled way back when Sheikh Abdullah met Mohammed Ali Jinnah and was unimpressed with his overtures.
Although the territory of Kashmir, which joined the Indian Union with special conditions, has been truncated in history by Pakistani and Chinese aggression, J&K remains an integral part of India and Pakistan can do little about it except to sponsor terror in the Valley. India must move on from obsessing with Pakistan’s terror tactics, that have been persistently amplified at many forums, including Brics. The West has a far greater understanding now of subcontinental geopolitics, as is evident in President Donald Trump’s pronouncements and his outright condemnation of Pakistan as a safe haven for terrorists. During the week, India has promised to take up several global issues like climate change and action, migration and peacekeeping. More important, Ms Swaraj’s Saturday address to the General Assembly must reflect India’s position on key focus areas that are larger than India-Pakistan issues. While raising Pakistan’s terror sponsorship and its raking up of Kashmir may be unavoidable, India has global concerns to speak about.