“This is indeed a new era in bilateral cooperation between the countries,” Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar stated on her first trip to India as FM. Let's be honest. The notion of a 'new era' arriving has been reiterated far too many times now - and if these talks go the way they usually do, then we'll be left waiting for a long, long time for the era that never arrived.
There are hopes that these rounds of Pak-India talks will be different but the language says something else.
"Pak Puts On Its Best Face," noted The Times of India, while mass circulation Hindi newspaper Navbharat Times said India was 'sweating over model-like minister.?<br> So, do we really need a caption here? ? AP photo
Khar said that she hopes dialogue would achieve a breakthrough in Pak-India relations. With all due respect, Ms. Khar, it remains OUR job to hope and YOUR job to be a part of the process that makes it happen. To top it off, ?Pakistan and India can move forward,? she said. And what a revelation that was! ? AFP photo
Observers expect little to emerge from Wednesday's meeting beyond some modest confidence-building measures connected to relatively uncontentious issues such as cross-border trade and people-to-people contacts. However, that royal wave is a pleasant addition to the usual. ? AP photo
Such a pleasant addition that even Senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) party leader L. K. Advani goes ear-to-ear with his smile. ? AFP photo
?A new generation of Indians and Pakistanis will see a relationship that will hopefully be much different from the one that has been experienced in the last two decades.? <br> Yes, we are seeing it already. Qureshi made Indians angry, while you Ms.Khar are "clearly being looked at as a perfect combination of beauty and brains (source: AFP)." No need to mention diplomacy skills we assume? ? AP photo
Indian Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna told reporters: ?I can confidently say that our relations are on the right track.? Khar probably agrees. What exactly is the right track ? or will that be discussed in the next round of talks? ? AFP photo
While Pakistan's FM said important things, Krishna's mind wandered over to Khar's meeting with the Kashmiri separatists. The Indian government sources and Krishna's face says it all - the talks did sour the atmosphere ahead of peace talks after all! ? AFP photo
We now know at least that Khar's smile will leave an impression, even if nothing else does. ? AP photo