IT is unfortunate that, in response to Indias calibrated moves towards Pakistan, making new demands while seemingly conceding to a revised-agenda dialogue, the Pakistani leaderships response is clumsy, confused and damaging to its interests. The latest reflection of this is Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshis declaration in a Times of India interview that issues like the water dispute will take precedence over what he refers to as 'traditional fault lines like Kashmir. And Qureshi calls this a clear roadmap for talks with India By this one statement alone, Foreign Minister Qureshi has made a number of revelations that reveal that Pakistans disadvantages in terms of external negotiations lie primarily with the leadership, not the cause. First, the Foreign Minister has revealed his ignorance not only on the multiple aspects of the Kashmir dispute but also on the crucial waters issue. The fact is that the water dispute is a direct outflow of the Kashmir dispute and therefore unless Kashmir is resolved, the water issue will continue to be used by India as a tool of blackmail. So Qureshi needs to be properly educated on Kashmir and the water issue. In the case of the latter, there are international guarantors and the option of international arbitration available within the Indus Waters Treaty - but these are options Pakistan has been ignoring over the last few years, despite information that India was contravening the Treaty. India made its intentions on the Chenab water very transparent since 2008, but the government chose to ignore the threat. So the other implied revelation by Qureshi seems to be that the present government is preparing to make some trade off on Kashmir in order to get some temporary concessions on the water issue. We are already familiar with Qureshi and his support of the Kerry Lugar Act. Is there a similar conceding of strategic ground on Kashmir now in the offing? Yet, there is no need to make any concession on the water issue since we have an internationally guaranteed agreement; and as long as Kashmir remains central, its resolution will automatically resolve many other disputes rooted in this core issue. Finally, another folly being committed is the appointment of retired foreign secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan as a backdoor conduit or envoy for India. Apart from the choice itself, given the level of mistrust and the past experience with back channel diplomacy and deal- making makes this approach suspect and untenable. With all these confusions, Pakistan needs to get its own policies clear and evolve a national consensus on them from the Parliament before it either goes down the dubious path of covert diplomacy or commences actual dialogue with India. In the present confused state of mind represented by the Foreign Minister, the interests of Pakistan will be ill-served through resumption of dialogue with India.