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Indo-Pak meet to turn culture fest

delhi Updated: Aug 19, 2012 23:33 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times
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Barring the possible signing of the much-awaited new visa regime, the forthcoming India-Pakistan foreign ministers meet is unlikely to bring about any major political breakthrough on any of the contentious issues.


But the meet is set to occasion a great deal of composite culture show — befittingly being staged in Lahore. External affairs minister SM Krishna will be in Pakistan from September 7 to 9. The last day of the trip would see him Lahore, paying homage to what the Indian sources term as "composite culture" of the two countries.

Krishna will visit the mausoleum of the great poet Md Iqbal, who wrote the Saare Jahan Se Achchha, one of the most enduring patriotic songs. The song first published in 1904, is an ode to Hindustan, which then comprised present-day Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.

Krishna will be visiting Data Darbar, one of the oldest Muslim shrines in the sub-continent known for its great sufi tradition. It houses the remains of 11th century Sufi saint, Abul Hassan Ali Hajvery. The Indian minister will also go to the mausoleum of the Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh, near the Lahore Fort.

The minister will arrive in Islamabad on September 7. Besides the meeting with his counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar, the minister will call on the top leadership of Pakistan. As the India-Pakistan talks always have been prone to accidents, Indian officials hope all goes will in Islamabad.

Incidentally, after the 26/11 attacks, the word composite is rarely heard in India, Pakistan context. It was after the attack, the composite dialogue was called off.

Though the dialogue is back on track with the same old elements and more, the word composite doesn't seem to augur well with the Indian officials.