Just hand Kashmir over to Pakistan, it’s really that simple
Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf sees a “simple” solution to his country’s long dispute with India over Kashmir: New Delhi should pull troops out of the Himalayan territory and agree to a compromise over its status.[Reuters]
Is that because Pakistan beat India in a cricket match?
He also calls for India and Pakistan to now climb down from maximalist positions, but what exactly does he mean by the ‘maximalist’ position? India abandoned its maximalist position of seeking the return the portion of the erswhile Jammu & Kashmir state illegally occupied by Pakistan a long time ago. Most recently Dr Manmohan Singh abandoned the maximalist position of seeking an end of Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism at the ‘historic‘ meeting in New York. In contrast, all Pakistan has abandoned nothing, not least its brazenness.
Dialogue with Gen Musharraf — beginning with Vajpayee’s trip down to Islamabad — has achieved nothing but a gradual whittling down of India’s position on the Kashmir. Thanks to this process of dialogue, Musharraf can claim that India’s maximalist position is indeed converting the Line of Control into an international border. Creative alternatives abound, almost all requiring giant leaps of faith in Pakistan and its dictators. But getting caught up with creative solutioning misses one important point — is giving special rights for people of Kashmir in tune with the principle of equality of all citizens? The current constitutional arragement according a special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir is already abominable, if expedient. Any further expediency is indefensible.
Indeed, it appears that Pakistan may win by sweet-talking lofty-softy Indian leaders what it could not win by overt wars or proxy war. Indeed, peace on the subcontinent will never be possible until Pakistan and its ambitious generals realise that they will never, in any circumstances, be able to achieve their territorial ambitions. The solution, in the end, is really quite simple.