Pakistan made no “explicit linkage” between solving the Siachen dispute and moving the peace process forward in other areas during the recent bilateral defence secretary talks, said an Indian government source. India and Pakistan have tried to avoid such linking of issues.
The broad policy of both countries, he said, has been to “make progress wherever we can” whenever they have engaged in talks. This was true for the composite dialogue and the present talks process as well. “Neither side has said if you don’t talk about this, we won’t talk about that,” he said.
He denied that India and Pakistan ever had been on the brink of clinching an agreement on Siachen in the past. The two had come to an understanding but had then discovered that “both sides had a different idea of what had been agreed upon.”
India did not believe there was any reason for Pakistan to be concerned about the newly announced India-Afghanistan-United States trilateral dialogue. India already has strategic partnerships with Afghanistan and the US separately and the request for the trilateral had come from Kabul, said the source.
Asked if Pakistan could possibly join, the source said, “We have been saying to Pakistan since 2005 that we are happy to talk with you about the region. India has nothing to hide.” However, it has been Pakistan that has refused to take up this offer. However, New Delhi had noticed that the past shrillness from Islamabad about India’s activities in Afghanistan had declined over the past two years.