20 October, 2020

Looking Back At Simla

Welcome views from both sides of the border, but one slightly blighted

Looking Back At Simla

By one of those quirks of irony with which life is replete, this book—looking back at one of the crucial landmarks in the apparently endless circle of conflict-conciliation-conflict between India and Pakistan—reached me on the eve of the 'inconclusive, not failed' Agra summit. Indeed, it arrived on the day when newspapers had splashed General Pervez Musharraf's interview 'rejecting' the Simla Agreement and the subsequent Lahore Declaration. After his arrival in Delhi, however, he denied having trashed Simla and Lahore and emphasised that he was only underscoring the failure of these two accords to resolve the 'core' issue of Kashmir.

This surely revived Simla's resonance and enhanced the relevance of the theme of the book under review, Simla's 'wasted promise'. The book's own promise—that the two well-known co-authors from the two sides of the subcontinental divide, P.R. Chari and Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, might have produced an agreed assessment of the Simla Agreement and its subsequent working or non-working—also excited me. But this turned out to be...



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