LAHORE - Senior politicians and former diplomats believe Pakistan has limited options to respond to the Indian offensive on the LoC and the diplomatic front.

Speaking on the postponement of Saarc Summit, former foreign minister Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali said that Pakistan had limited options to respond to Indian moves on the diplomatic front. “There is nothing much we can do,” he said.

He termed the development a ‘diplomatic negligence’ and ‘bad policy decisions’ by the government. 

Sardar Aseff, however, said it was significant to note that it was postponement and not the cancellation of the Saarc summit. There is still hope the South Asian neighbours heads will sit together at suitable time in the future.

He noted that Pakistan had left the space open to India in Washington DC where India was lobbying against our country. “I don’t see any such activity from the Pakistan side in the world’s most powerful capital”, he observed.

Without naming, he said a person who did not represent the parliament has been entrusted with the most tedious task of diplomacy. 

 On the exchange of fire at the Line of Control (LoC), the former foreign minister said that it was encouraging to see that world powers were much concerned about the escalation of tension between India and Pakistan. He also saw some behind-the-scene activity taking place to resolve the issue.

“It is important to note that world has taken notice of it and de-escalation efforts are underway”, he remarked. 

Sardar Aseff expressed his optimism that as a result of the mediation efforts from the big powers the two countries would observe restraint.

According to him, the situation was “explosive and any misunderstanding or miscalculation from any side at this stage may lead to an open war between the two neighbours”.

Former Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Abida Hussain said that India had been effective to persuade other Saarc nations to stay away from the moot. She said Pakistan should mount diplomatic efforts to persuade all Saarc countries including India to meet at the earliest.

“If Pakistan fails to convince them, it would be a setback not only for Pakistan but also for the future of Saarc as a representative forum of the south Asian region.  She was of the view that an effective diplomacy was the only tool Pakistan could use to get a favorable response from the world.

Former ambassador Sherry Rehman termed postponement a diplomatic failure of the present government. She commented that weak diplomacy had landed the country into a situation where the world nations did not have favourable view of Pakistan. Sherry said country was facing complete isolation in the region due to postponement of the summit meeting.