It sounds good. It makes a good headline – Pakistan makes Kashmir concession says the BBC. It makes General Musharraf look like a reasonable man. But the actual concession is minor. Fifty years after Nehru promised a plebiscite so much water had flowed under the bridge that it was never a possibility. Moreover, a plebiscite in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan may not have gone as per Pakistan’s expectations. Only the retired Mrs Madeline Albright thought it was a good idea, which The Acorn duly opposed last week.
This now puts pressure on India to make concessions too. Doing that is a very bad idea
The first rule in negotiations is never to make concessions before all the chips are laid out. At best India should signal an intention to negotiate, and even this I say reluctantly. While Musharraf has nothing to lose even if he ‘meets India halfway’, to India it means real losses. And there is nothing to prevent Musharraf’s successors to send more jehadis to walk the remaining half way.