Thursday, January 22, 2004
Just what's up in Kashmir?
My doubts are deepening. I clearly see Uncle Sam's hand working behind the screen in all that is going on between India, Pakistan and Kashmiris. And my theory that LoC is going to become de facto broder is strengthened with every negotiation/initiative/CBM. Let me put this picture together:
1. Pakistan decides not to insist too much on UN resolutions, and India decides to talk Kashmir with Pakistan. (I think the final outcome of this is almost decided now).
2. India and Pakistan talk, and trade. You can safely bet that an year or two down the road, the effect of the trade will be projected in good light as much as possible in both countries (if Mushy and ABV stick onto their posts).
3. India starts talks with Hurriyat. Again, u can safely assume that the Hurriyat will, soon, come up with a demand for autonomy - de facto pre-1952 status, or something just short of it. India will concede sometime down the lane. With steeel man Advani playing the negotiator, who could claim the GoI gave away too much?
4. Pak will claim a moral victory in getting Kashmiris "freedom"
All the while, the insurgency will be curtailed on both sides (at least as much as Mushy can get it done), and cross LoC trade and transport will go on. SAFTA comes in handy here.
IF ALL THIS GOES WELL, we could imagine a formal treaty of some sort say, twenty years down the lane where India and Pakistan will decide to call the LoC what it really is already - the new border.
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