Pakistan and India have agreed to talk. Or rather, India has agreed to talk to Pakistan at last, after years of using the Mumbai attacks not to do so. This has been the result of the meeting between Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir with his Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao on the sidelines of the SAARC meeting in Thimphu and reflected USA intervening in an effort supposedly to allow Pakistan to devote itself without distraction to the war on terror, but actually as part of its design to leave Afghanistan this year, and to leave India as its regional policeman. The proposed talks are supposed to be a continuation of the composite dialogue that has been going on since 2001, but which has not brought either party to concede anything from their existing positions. The areas to be covered in the talks all reflect Indian intransigence, with the very first issue, counter-terrorism, not having achieved significant progress because India has not ceased its terrorist activities, both internally, as reflected in the Samjhota Express blasts where the confessions of Swami Assemanand have pointed a damning finger at the Indian establishment, and externally, as reflected in the Indian interference in Balochistan. India has traditionally tried to avoid talks having any result. However, what has changed is that now the USA wants it to play a wider regional role on its behalf, and is trying to ensure that it is able to achieve its regional goals. While Pakistan only wishes good relations with all neighbours, it will not accept being treated as a doormat, which is how India wishes to treat its neighbours. The upcoming talks are not just about Pak-India relations, but about US plans for the region. These are plans in which Pakistan should not be an accomplice. Pakistan, if it wishes the USA to use its good offices, should convince it to make India ready to talk with a purpose, and not try to put off those issues which expose it, like Kashmir, which is the oldest and core issue between the two countries. Without its solution, no wider solution is possible, and without a readiness by India to solve it, no talks would have any purpose. Even the USA, which sets great store by these talks, will find that its goals will not be met unless the Kashmir issue is solved according to the UN resolutions on the subject. India must also realise that its refusal to talk means that it will not be able to solve anything.