Washington Seminar on Agra Summit

By M, M. | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October 31, 2001 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Washington Seminar on Agra Summit

M, M., Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


The American Institute of International Studies (AIIS), a California-based think tank, held a seminar in Washington, DC on Aug. 8 to discuss the outcome of the July Musharraf-Vajpayee summit in the Indian city of Agra. Scheduled speakers at the seminar included Stephen Cohen of the Brookings Institution, the Stimson Institute's Michael Krepton, and Bruce Robertson of the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service Institute. While Deputy Chief of Mission Zamir Akram represented the Pakistan Embassy, there was no showing from the Indian Embassy.

Opening the seminar, AIIS President Syed R. Mahmood said that the Institute's primary objective was to help build peace in South Asia by providing channels of communication between India and Pakistan. Emphasizing the need for peace between two nuclear powers home to over a billion impoverished people, he urged individuals, groups and governments all over the world interested in the promotion of peace to help India and Pakistan resolve their disputes and disagreements through peaceful means. He offered the AIIS platform for this purpose.

Stephen Cohen saw the Agra summit as opening up possibilities for a better understanding between New Delhi and Islamabad, as well as increasing tensions between them. He found the climate in India more conducive to a relatively open discussion on the Kashmir question and other bilateral issues. "There is no debate on the subject in Pakistan," said Cohen. "Public opinion is the same as the official position."

This, in his opinion, does not contribute to a fruitful dialogue on conflict resolution. Cohen regretted that there was insufficient preparation for the Agra parleys, and hoped the United States would continue to play "its discreet role behind the scenes" to bring India and Pakistan to the negotiating table.

Michael Krepon wished the Musharraf-Vajpayee talks had been more "structured." "Open-ended meetings with no defined agenda do not produce results," he said, "unless the parties have a will to pursue mutual agreements even after the talks--as happened at the Reykjavik summit in 1985 between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S."

According to Krepon, there are three major issues that should be addressed in order to establish a sustainable peace in the subcontinent: 1) a mutually agreed resolution of the Kashmir issue; 2) nuclear nonproliferation; and 3) effective curtailment of terrorism. In his view, a climate of mutual trust is essential, and this could develop if India and Pakistan are willing to forget the past and bury the hatchet. Any small beginning in this direction, he said, would be welcome. Krepon expressed his alarm at the growth of the religious right in Pakistan.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Washington Seminar on Agra Summit


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?