The state and the people

Sajjad Lone makes a strong case for continuing the peace process in Kashmir even if it runs into rough weather initially, in this India Express article. I could’nt agree more. But he should direct this article to Pakistan. As Vajpayee was preparing to go to Lahore, Musharraf had completed the logistics and supply plans for the Kargil occupation.

When in power Pakistani leaders have found themselves compelled to pursue reconciliation with India. The moment this translates to action, they find themselves running foul of the powerful institutional interests of the Army; a course which leads them to lose their lives or power. The only difference this time is Musharraf; who is the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). But can he face down the Army’s institutional interests? Should he fail, the clever man that he is, he can blame Jamali for the sellout and continue in power.

Back to Lone’s article – he makes a major mistake when he separates the Indian state from the Indian people. In a democratic India there is no disconnect between the two. In fact I’d even say that there is no disconnect between the government and the people. Again what Lone says is certainly applicable to Pakistan.

I am a firm believer in a Kashmiri peace process which involves the Centre talking to the Kashmiris. But I cannot stand the stupid and over-simplified equation of Pakistan with India, not even from a Sajjad Lone.