23 September, 2020

Hostile History, Frail Peace

Recent events may have worsened relations, but a military climbdown and political will can help defuse tensions, says Lt Gen Talat Masood

Hostile History, Frail Peace

Ever since the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan in May 1998, a series of unfortunate events have raised tensions in the region to a dangerously high level. The danger is that it could once again drive both countries towards a catastrophic war. First it was the Kargil conflict, which brought into sharp focus the deep disagreements between the two countries over Kashmir. It also heightened concerns that the unresolved, long-standing antagonism has indeed the potential of becoming a nuclear flashpoint. The premeditated downing of a Pakistan Navy Atlantique aircraft by the Indian forces followed soon after. Then came the internal change in Pakistan, wherein the civilian despotic ruler was replaced by a military regime. This was anathema to India as it thinks the Pakistani army was the architect of the Kargil episode.

The recent hijacking of the Indian Airlines plane by Kashmiri mujahideen was another major setback, which has again set emotions ablaze. India has been engaged in an unrelenting campaign to demonise General Musharraf. Following a policy of denial, it wants to...



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