Govt Must Shun Track II Diplomatic Traders

Published: 16th July 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th July 2014 12:14 AM   |  A+A-

The row over the meeting between journalist Ved Prakash Vaidik with 26/11 terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan on Tuesday stalled Parliament for the second consecutive day, with the government stating it has nothing to do with it and terming it as “diplomatic misadventure of a private individual”. It is irrelevant whether he met Saeed as a self-appointed envoy of the government, as part of a Track II diplomatic initiative that may have included former Union ministers or other high-profile interlocutors or as freelance journalist. Claiming to be close to the current dispensation he shamed the country by his interview to Pakistan TV in which he supported the creation of an independent Jammu and Kashmir. And he has managed to cause embarrassment to those whose proximity he unabashedly boasts about.

What exactly transpired during his meeting with Saeed is not known, but his claim to reform a man who proudly wears on his hands the blood of hundreds of innocent Indians would test the credulity of even the most gullible. His visit has raised many questions about the utility of Track II diplomacy which is dominated by retired, tired and fired civil servants and columnists. The choice of who should be engaged in Track II diplomacy is invariably shrouded in mystery.

The Modi government should learn lessons from this individual diplomatic misadventure, dismantle the current infrastructure of Track II diplomatic traders and replace them with those for whom national interest is above considerations. The fact is that a number of think tanks have been infiltrated by lobbyists sponsored by pro-Pakistan and pro-US corporate houses and even the government funds some of them. The National Democratic Alliance regime must deal with credible people whose track record is impeccable and keep away the retired people who were part of the mess which its has inherited from the previous UPA dispensation. The government must force all the think tanks to make sources of their funding public and ensure that they are brought within the purview of the Right to Information Act.

Stay up to date on all the latest Editorials news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp