What indeed has come over Kuldip Nayar?

Yes, it’s called a spade

Kuldip Nayar op-ed in Dawn proves his own point. People-to-people contacts are working — lofty-softy Indians are beginning to understand Pakistan. Good.

When Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, the (Pakistan) Muslim League chief, was in New Delhi recently he said that Muslims in India had the option to migrate to Pakistan when the subcontinent was partitioned but today they were citizens of India and should be loyal to the country.

I do not know how a mature person like him came to infer after visiting the Jamia Masjid in Delhi for two hours that Muslims on this side were keen to go to the other side. He was raking up the past with which he was not familiar…

Shujaat Hussain’s advice to the Indian Muslims to be loyal to their country was the unkindest cut. He only gave vent to the feelings of the BJP-RSS parivar that have built their following among the Hindus on the anti-Muslim plank.

Their propaganda was that the Muslims were not loyal to India and Shujaat Hussain dittoed it. In any case, who was he to assess their loyalty? The Advanis and Modis were enough to make their life a nightmare.

Worse than Shujaat Hussain’s comment was the observation by Mushahid Hussain, his deputy, on return to Pakistan: Muslims in India were afraid to say even salaam. I thought he would have been impressed by the open society that India is.

But Kashmir has come to occupy so much space that there is very little for anything else.

The typical example is the visit of 10 former Pakistani envoys to New Delhi earlier this month. They met some 30 Indian ex-ambassadors. Having been India’s high commissioner to Britain, I fulfilled the conditions to be at the meeting. I must admit the former Pakistani envoys did not impress me because they were obsessed with Kashmir.

Everything depended on its solution. So they said. Our side too was pedestrian, only countering the points the other side made. I wondered how for decades the foreign offices on both sides had done nothing except negating each other’s stand.

I proposed at the meeting to ‘freeze’ Kashmir till we had established good relations…The Pakistani envoys did not agree with me. Nor did they suggest anything concrete.[Dawn]