23 October, 2020

Caravan Of Misgivings

For the Indo-Pak bus to be successful, both nations must trust each other

Sandeep Adhwaryu
Caravan Of Misgivings
The first buses to ply between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad in 57 years are being readied in the two state capitals even as I write. But it is already apparent that both countries will have to cross many rivers of mistrust and shed many encrusted prejudices if the bus service is to serve its main purpose—of empowering ordinary Kashmiris and healing the wound that the division of the state and the closure of the northern and western approaches to the Valley dealt to their psyche. Both in Jammu and Muzaffarabad, the intelligence agencies of the two countries have been busy trying to turn the selection of the passengers who will travel on the two buses to their political advantage.

They have been able to do so because of a clause Pakistan insisted on when the broad outlines of the agreement over the bus service were hammered out by the late J.N. Dixit and his counterpart Tariq Aziz. Once India had agreed not to insist upon the use of passports as documents of identification and allow travel on the basis of identity papers issued by the local authorities, Islamabad insisted upon...


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