The Salman Khurshid Chat - Rediff - Wed Mar 26, 1997

The Salman Khurshid Chat

Salman Khurshid was quick on the uptake when he appeared on the Rediff Chat on Wednesday night. On the agenda was the Indo-Pak talks and as a former minister of state for external affairs, the Oxford-educated Khurshid was expected to throw more light on the likely turn of events. Some may have felt that the experience was not entirely illuminating, but check out the transcript. Maybe, it is all between the lines.

Nikhil Lakshman: (Wed Mar 26 20:00:15 1997 IST):

Good evening, Mr Khurshid. Welcome to the Rediff Chat. We do hope you enjoy the experience.

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SALMAN KHURSHID. (Wed Mar 26 20:00:50 1997 IST): EVERYONE: Hello, I am Salman Khurshid at your service, please shoot your questions.

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attee mogvaa (Wed Mar 26 20:00:52 1997 IST): arre but bhaiya Salman, ek go prashanava hai, kee are we to ask only nice questions yaa thodaa saa embarrassvaa kar lein?? ek-doo go, bus?

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Imtiaz Ahmed (Wed Mar 26 20:01:35 1997 IST): Good evening, minister. What do you think are the chances of a real breakthrough in Indo-Pak relations?

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attee mogvaa (Wed Mar 26 20:02:04 1997 IST): Sunder Rajan is here? Is this a cricketmatch Is Gavaskar also present?? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SALMAN KHURSHID. (Wed Mar 26 20:02:17 1997 IST): Samrana Khan: I am logging in from Delhi, Maurya Sheraton, Hotel & Towers, Cyber Club.

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Sunder Rajan (Wed Mar 26 20:02:25 1997 IST): Mr Khurshid, do you think the forthcoming Indo-Pak talk can any way better the relations between the two enemies

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Samrana Khan (Wed Mar 26 20:02:34 1997 IST): Good evening Mr Khurshid, I am a Pakistani living in Canada. Some of my relatives remained in India after partition. Our families have hardly met after '47 which is very painful. Do you think India and Pakistan will ever be able to establish amicable relations?

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attee mogvaa (Wed Mar 26 20:03:06 1997 IST): Amma Imtiaz Ahmed, are you his PA? Even Salman does not call himself a minister anymore....

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Avinash Muralikrishnan (Wed Mar 26 20:03:11 1997 IST): Mr Khurshid, it is a pleasure speaking to someone whose family has done so much for India. I have been a fan of yours ever since I saw you on the BBC after the sorry events in Ayodhya. Do you think the Pakis are serious about peace this time? And why shoul;d we make peace with them?

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SALMAN KHURSHID. (Wed Mar 26 20:03:33 1997 IST): Imtiaz Ahmed: I am cautiously optimistic. there is a lot of historical baggage to overcome.

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attee mogvaa (Wed Mar 26 20:04:43 1997 IST): Salman : Would'ny you rather log in from Machan or Karim? Or have you changed favourites to Maurya? Any particular reason?? What will they say at Machan...they will cry I think no???

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S K Mishra (Wed Mar 26 20:04:45 1997 IST): What is the historical baggage? Please tell us. You mnust have interacted with the Pakis. What is their bug bear?

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Satish Verma (Wed Mar 26 20:04:57 1997 IST): Don't you think I K Gujral has been the most successful foreign minister India has ever seen?

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attee mogvaa (Wed Mar 26 20:05:41 1997 IST): Report from Machan just received....they are crying....

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SALMAN KHURSHID. (Wed Mar 26 20:05:50 1997 IST): Avinash: Pakistan understands the logic of living together little better. But they are still many hurdles. If we can get peace with dignity, we too can pursue the agenda of a better life for all our people more vigorously. There is no alternative to peace.

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Karamchand (Wed Mar 26 20:06:50 1997 IST): HELLO MR KHURSHID, WHAT WILL BE THE IMPACT OF THE OIC DECLARATION FROM ISLAMABAD ON INDO-PAK TALKS ?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Imtiaz Ahmed (Wed Mar 26 20:07:27 1997 IST): Mr Mogvaa. In the US, it is common to call an ex-minkister minister. It is in respect. However, minister, I am dissastified with your answer. You were minister at the ministry 'when the last talks broke down. Why did it break down? Weere both sides intransigent?

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SALMAN KHURSHID. (Wed Mar 26 20:07:44 1997 IST): Atte: Machan haven't got to cyber space yet. Even Shikaris must step down from the Machan to look for computer terminals.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- attee mogvaa (Wed Mar 26 20:08:04 1997 IST):?

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Samrana Khan (Wed Mar 26 20:08:39 1997 IST): Mr Khurshid, what outcome do you forsee of the Indo-Pak talks between the two foreign secretaries this week?

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SALMAN KHURSHID. (Wed Mar 26 20:09:15 1997 IST): Mishra: They are searching for an identity and assume quite incorrectly that this might be available in getting Kashmir away from India. This is what they must overcome.

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Avinash Muralikrishnan (Wed Mar 26 20:09:32 1997 IST): Mr Khurshid, as someone educated at Oxford, with a legacy of loquaciousness to boot, you seem to be parsimonious with your responses. Anyway, I understand that it was impossible to do business with Benazir. Is that correct? What was she like when you were together at Oxford? Or did Pinky not have time for the likes of you?

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SALMAN KHURSHID. (Wed Mar 26 20:10:25 1997 IST): Karamchand: OIC resolution often say what they do not mean and mean what they do not say. It is disappointing but not disastrous for the talks.

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Imtiaz Ahmed (Wed Mar 26 20:10:54 1997 IST): If Inder Gujral were to ask you for advice on hbow to improve relations with Islamabad, and what gestures we need to make to the Pakistanis, what would you tell him?

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Samrana Khan (Wed Mar 26 20:11:48 1997 IST): Mr Khurshid, you've just said that there is no alternative to peace, but what inevitable compromises will India have to make to let this peace become a reality?

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Simon King (Wed Mar 26 20:12:07 1997 IST): What is the basic difference between the foreign policy perceptions of the Deve Gowda government and the previous Congress government?

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SALMAN KHURSHID. (Wed Mar 26 20:12:15 1997 IST): Avinash Muralikrishnan: What a pity, we missed you at Oxford. We could have worked on your sense of humour and got you an intro with Benazir as well.

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attee mogvaa (Wed Mar 26 20:12:37 1997 IST): Salman : Do you foresee a East/West Germany kind of scenario, with the artificial border between Pakistan and India coming down one fine day, albeit with some sort of governmental pressures, within and without? You are aware, ofcourse, that the border is already completely porous and stands only as adream of the Intelligence agencies of both countries? Would you lead a border march in this day and age?

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S K Mishra (Wed Mar 26 20:12:40 1997 IST): Why is that India, with more Muslims than any other country than Indonesia, project its views better to the OIC? Why does Pakistan have such a hold over the OIC? And is Sunday's resolution a result of our friendship with the Iranis?

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attee mogvaa (Wed Mar 26 20:14:04 1997 IST): Salman : Do you foresee a East/West Germany kind of scenario, with the artificial border between Pakistan and India coming down one fine day, albeit with some sort of governmental pressures, within and without? You are aware, ofcourse, that the border is already completely porous and stands only as adream of the Intelligence agencies of both countries? Would you lead a border march in this day and age?



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