1988: India Rejects Pak’s ‘Kashmir First’ Line

The then Prime Minister of India, I. K. Gujral, hoped that the next round of Indo-Pak secretary level talks would start soon and cover all the eight points agreed to at the Islamabad meeting in June the previous year.

Replying to a question on what the major hurdle in continuing the talks was, Gujral said: “It is very easy to blame the other side but as a matter of fact Pakistan deviated from the agreed formula.”

“After the Male meeting we had formulated eight points and it was agreed to continue with it… But, then suddenly a new formulation came from Pakistan that the first point that related to Kashmir be discussed first,” he said.

He said that he wanted to make it clear that Kashmir would not be discussed first.

“It is not possible… will not be the possibility.”

He said that India wanted to talk on all eight issues simultaneously, and that was what “we had agreed” on. He said that that all the eight subjects should be taken up had been decided again in Dhaka.

Gujral said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had shared his views that Kashmir was a longstanding dispute and its solution would take some time.

“Improvement of relations will be a process and not an event,” he said.

The Indian prime minister said that there were divided families, friends, trade and other relations in both countries.

“The most obnoxious thing is police reporting. There can’t be anything worse than this…A bugger from anywhere in the world is alright…but a Pakistani cannot be allowed.”