Don’t expect miracles from Indo-Pak talks: Antony


Indian Defence Minister AK Antony on Tuesday sought to calibrate the growing expectations from the bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan, saying “don’t expect miracles”. Antony said there were positive signs in trade relations between India and Pakistan, but there was nothing beyond that as of now. “Don’t expect miracles,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a South Asian Security Conference organised by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), reported IANS. “At the moment, we find a positive sign in relations with Pakistan in the area of economic cooperation. It is a good beginning,” he said, referring to the talks between prime ministers Manmohan Singh and Yousaf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in the Maldives last week. “It is a positive signal. But we cannot expect miracles. It is a good sign. Beyond that we cannot say,” he said.
Earlier at the conference, Antony said the comprehensive dialogue between India and Pakistan had been “steady”. “There are already clear signs that India-Pakistan trade relations might improve and expand. The expansion in cooperation has created an atmosphere to expand the dialogue on cooperation security,” he said. “However, we need to change our mindset, if we really wish to reap the benefits of mutual cooperation,” he added. Supporting the idea of a cooperative security framework for South Asia on the lines of those in Southeast Asia and Central Asia, Antony said the latter two regions had made considerable progress in their combined security architecture.
“Such a security framework for the South Asian region will require regular consultations and dialogue – both at official and non-official levels. Some of these issues are being discussed at such forums as the SAARC and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) in the framework of socio-economic development.