23 October, 2020

'It's People, Not Just Territory'

'It's People, Not Just Territory'
Flexibility is one word which has gained wide currency in Islamabad. Anyone who is someone mouths it frequently. ceo Gen Pervez Musharraf uses it with gay abandon; ditto his foreign minister Abdul Sattar. The problem, though, is that no one in the government has cared to define the word "flexibility". With Musharraf slated to meet Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, 'flexibility' has come to mean different things to different people involved in the Kashmir imbroglio.

For Islamabad, any talk of finding a solution to the Kashmir dispute invariably leads it to declare that it is for the Kashmiris to decide on their future. Obviously, few believe such sanctimonious rhetoric, reiterated ad nauseam. Analysts believe neither India nor Pakistan will easily relinquish the initiative to the Kashmiris; any substantive role for them consequently must follow an agreement between Musharraf and Vajpayee.

The complexity of the Kashmir problem was precisely the reason why Outlook in its last issue (June 11) endeavoured to prepare a framework for ushering in peace in Kashmir....


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