Not Again the Same Problem

Pakistan [politicians] is doing what it does best again — giving contradictory statements. While their foreign minister, Mr. Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri has been talking peace with our own Naïve Nutwar, Volte-face Musharraf is blowing his favorite Kashmir trumpet. Governments change with alarming regularity on both sides of the border but unfortunately the war of words and occasional bullets continue relentlessly. Just to find some common ground, exchange of artistes and goods happen sporadically but after perfunctory talk of brotherhood and common past, everything goes downhill as soon as the K word is mentioned. Hundreds of thoughts have been expressed in the national press and local dhabas but either they just drag on forever without any sign of peace or just border on vitriolic bashing.

Has ever an academic study been undertaken to analyze the political economy of the Kashmir region and understand the festering turmoil? Or will at least effort to understand it at a systemic level help? Can another community (bloggers?) do any different? Is it really a people’s movement as our neighbors like to paint it as, or simply the tantrum demands of a frustrated economy, dealing with fundamentalism? Pakistan clearly doesn’t have global presence if Kashmir and the latest “limited” cooperation on the war of terror are ignored. It needs the Kashmir issue unresolved more than India does. The solution of the issue is not clearly anticipated because if it is resolved, Pakistan will not have a bone to pick with India. What would they fight about next? Hyderabad and Junagarh? Not surprisingly, the ludicrous demands were expressed by a certain jihadi who have clearly off his rocker. India clearly has long accepted the sovereignty of Pakistan and why would India want to inherit a fundamentalist Muslim demographic, as Pakistan like to think is totally beyond me. We already have enough “minority oppression” issues to deal with and communal riots are not a thing of the past yet. India too will not have a foreign hand to blame for every minor disturbance in its metros. Did you know that it is mandatory for every district headquarter to store riot-control gear? So much for simple democratic protesting. Why would Pakistan sponsor communal riots in far-flung districts like Gadchiroli, Maharashtra?

Pakistan wants Kashmir and India considers it as an integral part of its Union. Clearly this is an irresolvable issue, if both the countries stick to their guns (literally). Is a middle ground not possible? Pakistan already sits pretty over one-third of Kashmir after generously gifting China another third. India has the remainder. Isn’t this an ideal solution?

Convert LOC into an international border, everyone gets their share of the pie and let us move on. If Kashmiryiat wants an independent nation, let us annex the paradoxically incorrect “Azad Kashmir” and begin afresh. Or let Pakistan declare the Azad Kashmir as an independent nation, let them compete in the Olympics under a different flag and convince India that they indeed have Kashmiri interests at heart. India can seriously then consider open up the talks with Kashmir with Pakistan as an observer. Kill any more innocent villagers or school children, the entire deal is off. If Musharraf pleads innocence and says that he has no control over the rogue Islamists; let him go back to his own backyard and correct that first. You cannot rule over a country and wash off blame for your countrymen’s actions.

I have nothing against Pakistanis. I haven’t met many but I am sure they are good folks but their government is an ass. I am sure they have the same thing to say about us.

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  • :-)

    Dude, just came to know that I missed wishing you happy birthday. Now I am :-) Happy birthday dude.

    By the way, said it about Pakis.

  • Chetan

    As far as the Pakistani people are concerned, it certainly seemed a heartwarming welcome when Indian Cricket team visited Pakistan to play there. It was as if they reallyt did want peace (except for the K that has become a difficult ego to let go).

    Making the LOC a border is a good step towards peace.

  • ashi

    hey!..i missed a birthday..:(. sorry.
    hope u had a wonderful day..hope u have many more like that one in the years to come.:)

  • Queer

    Thats exactly what I feel too.It is hard to concede part of Kashmir to Paki, but there is no point in dragging this matter more. I am don’t want to give even an inch of Kashmir to Paki, but if changing LOC to international border would solve the issue, then I am for it.

    Indian politicians are themselves responsible for the current situation, by giving special status to Kashmir. Treat it the same way as you do the other states. Kashmir has been a part of India since independence and is going to be with us.

    We can’t split up India like a mere piece of land. Today, it will be kashmir, tomm it will be Assam, then it will be Tamil Nadu. As it is, there has been mails circulating fighting for an Independent Tamil desam?!?!? I barely stopped myself from making a scene in starbucks the other day, when I met the perpetuator.

    I am surprised, the french have not asked for pondicherry!

  • Patrix

    Smiley – Thanks dude.

    Chetan – Cricketing and music ties are more than welcomed in Pakistan. But I still don’t understand why Kashmir should mean so much to just seems like a prolonged tantrum.

    Ashi – No probs…hopefully u will have more chances to wish but you never know :) Thanks.

    Queer – The problem sometimes with India is that we give in too often or just can’t act tough. Diplomacy of course is preferred but there are times when we ought to act tough. I didn’t know that Tamil desam was a serious issue…tell me more? and why?

  • Soleil

    hey..happy birthday!;)

    know quite a few of them…some disappoint some are interesting…pretty much like the general population id say. one big thing to watch out for is – the conservatives..that can get nasty.

    ever checked out that put me off the whole lot for quite a bit!

  • Queer

    Tamil Desam, is rite now under the surface, with the support our very dear politicians..leaders of MDMK and PMK, regional parties, fighting for the “dravidans” the original tamil settlers. Independent Tamil Nadu state comprises, parts of SL, TN, Kerala, karnataka and AP:) Nice one..huh!:)But, right now, since the LTTE are maintaining a low profile in TN and have not gained the sympathy of the Tamils after the Rajiv assasination. But they still have a HQ in London which routes funds to them. The independent state idea, is the brainchild of the tamil chauvinists and LTTE. Although not many tamils support this idea, it is still there.

  • Patrix

    Soleil – Chowk is indeed a Paki-dominated portal and the greatest danger is the rearing of the extremist head…Rediff has an excellent article on our ties with Pakistan

    Queer – I am really surprised at the idea frankly. I hope it doesn’t gather support coz it is really ridiculous.

  • divya

    oopsies.. i missed a birthday.. hope my shouting makes up for that gaffe.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

    It is really painful when I see India’s map in BBC or CNN. It looks so sick without the crown on the head. But I guess the crown must topple to have a semblance of peace.

    But really, what is the whole purpose of Kashmir. Why is it so vital for Pakistan and India. I think its strategic control. Its about the borders you are exposing to the other nations. And I guess Kashmir will also be (in utopian world) a gateway to Asia. So what the solution requires is to persuade the powers to somehow agree to a common control. I guess this is too utopian a solution. But I think India and Pakistan will be much more powerful together. And a common control will be the first step towards such a union.

  • Patrix

    Divya – thanks for the wishes. Toppling the crown, heck no..that is not an option. Strategical importance is not the only reason, it is a matter of how much are you willing to give in. Who know what they might ask for later, if you hand Kashmir on a platter to the Pakis.