Picking up on a former American diplomat’s comments — that India and Pakistan should resolve smaller issues like Siachen and Sir Creek first before tackling the big issue of Kashmir — Pakistan’s Daily Times asks why India does not resolve these smaller issues first?
To those familiar with India-Pakistan relations this will sound bizarre. That is because it has long been India’s argument that putting Kashmir on the back burner while other issues are sorted out is the best approach to improving bilateral relations. And if this road was not taken, it was because of Pakistan’s impatience with ‘progress on the Kashmir issue’. Indeed, bilateral relations in every sphere have been held hostage by Pakistan’s Kashmir complex. The Daily Times may be right when it argues that it was in India’s interests to create and sustain ‘smaller disputes’ to counter Pakistan’s relentless fixation with acquiring Kashmir. But it can hardly be a reasonable argument that disputes big and small are not in the interests of Pakistan’s military establishment: it was not India that created the new dispute over the sharing of the Indus river waters.
Given that a dispute becomes a dispute only when it is disputed by at least two parties, it is erroneous to impute that one of the parties can solve it unilaterally. It can only if concedes to the other party’s position. Surely, the Daily Times cannot expect India to ‘resolve’ these disputes if resolution means accepting Pakistan’s terms. Gen Musharraf is the most famous exponent of “you give, I take” school of dispute resolution. Little wonder then, that disputes never actually get resolved.
Related Link: What does Musharraf have in common with HTTP? JK explains.