The unending series of talks between Pakistan and India, that began in 2004, have failed to bring any of the contentious issues to an end. So far, there have been only meaningless confidence building measures, taken on India’s insistence to supposedly create an atmosphere conducive to finding solution of them. And as expected, the two Foreign Secretaries who met for two days, Wednesday and Thursday, at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi could not produce any breakthrough either. There was a perfunctory mention of Kashmir as having been discussed and the resolve of keeping doing so. India persisted in accusing Pakistan’s state actors of involvement in the Mumbai terrorist attacks, which Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani categorically rejected. He once again renewed the offer of a joint probe into the incident. As in the past, the offer is not likely to find favour with New Delhi. Mr Jilani rightly pointed out to his India counterpart Ranjan Mathai that pointing fingers at one another would hinder the process of finding settlement of disputes. Mr Mathai, evidently to keep the charade of talks going, however, termed them “purposeful” and forward looking.To divert the world attention from disputes that lie at the root of tension with Pakistan, India’s focus has been to raise a hue and cry through allegations of involvement in acts of terrorism committed on its soil. Whether the Indian Parliament is bombed or Samjhota Express passengers are massacred, the blame is put at the door of Islamabad; by the time investigations conducted by its agencies were made public, it had made all possible efforts to let the blame stick by a repetitive cry of accusation. Now since Mumbai, there has been no lull in the deafening noises of foul play against state actors of Pakistan.Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had earlier, after committing to visit Pakistan, made it clear that he would only pay the visit if a “positive outcome” was expected. However, former Prime Minister Gilani who met Dr Manmohan Singh tried to create the impression that this time around, he would indeed, visit, without laying any new condition. The latest from New Delhi is that he has not changed his mind and is looking for an assurance of a “positive outcome”. He might as well know that the key to that “outcome” lies with him and it is a just solution of the Kashmir dispute from which have emanated all the hostility and bad blood between the two countries. Dr Singh does not have to do much thinking over the issue; the way forward is laid out in the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council: a UN-sponsored free and fair plebiscite to elicit the verdict of the people of Kashmir whether they want to join Pakistan or India. Pakistan is asking for no more from him! Kashmir’s settlement would prove most conducive to untangling the rest of the mess.