Pakistan and the Kashmiri separatists breach the understanding
If the bus service across Kashmir was intended as a confidence-building measure between the Indian and Pakistani governments, it has already failed. For how much confidence can India have in a Pakistan that had no qualms in brazenly violating the letter and spirit of the understanding that came about after the most protracted negotiations? Bharat Bhushan’s op-ed in the Calcutta Telegraph outlines how India has ended up strengthening the Pakistani position. Having gotten itself onto a slippery slope, it continues to slide
Pakistan has flown the Hurriyat leaders out of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir â€” a disputed territory â€” into Islamabad, without either stamping the passports or issuing them visas. India is unable to do anything as it had originally sanctioned visa-free travel to PoK to enable Kashmiris to take the special bus route between Muzaffarabad and Srinagar.
General Musharraf reminded the world that this visa-less and passport-less travel by the Kashmiri leaders to Pakistan (not PoK) was â€œthe recognition of the disputed status of India-held Kashmir by both the countriesâ€. Mark his words. The whole of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir is not disputed â€” POK is not disputed, according to the General and nor are Gilgit and Baltistan. Only that part of Kashmir that is in India is disputed.
This stinging slap must embarrass those in New Delhi who rushed with forcibly offering passports to the Hurriyat leaders. [The Calcutta Telegraph]