05 August, 2021

An Excuse Of A Valley

Despite all claims to the contrary, Kashmir isn’t the issue, says Shankar Bajpai. It is the anti-India sentiment built into Pakistan’s power structure.

An Excuse Of A Valley

Whenever Indo-Pakistan relations seem at their worst, they manage to get worse still. What makes current prospects particularly dismal is Pakistan’s determination to prevent improvement. To say that peace depends on resolving the "core" issue means only one thing: give up your sovereignty over Kashmir or face more of what we have been inflicting. Could ‘more’ include war?

There are three broad possibilities: Pakistan chooses war as a feasible means of wresting Kashmir, either directly or by securing internal intervention at a moment favourable to it-or by accelerating its other schemes to destabilise India; India is goaded into war as the only effective response to Pakistan’s terrorism; or, even without either side intending it, Pakistan’s efforts, or India’s counters, get out of control and war erupts inexorably.

All these depend on Pakistan’s activities. That is not to claim any superior morality for India but simply to get down to realities. India is the status quo power, with no interest in war except to hit at the source...

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