15 June, 2021

Not A Time To Sulk

India will lose the support it has won to keep Kashmir bilateral if it is lackadaisical about talks with Pakistan.

Not A Time To Sulk

What's next for India-Pakistan relations after the Kargil crisis? One option is unending, foreign-backed insurgency. Another option is substantive bilateral discussions with Pakistan on many issues, including serious addressal of the Kashmir dispute. If other wrenching, long-festering conflicts are any guide, a third option seems most likely: a mixture of diplomacy amidst continuing violence.

Jawaharlal Nehru predicted that the Kashmir issue would become more soluble over time. Would that this were true. Peace-making between '72 and '89, when Kashmir was quiet and when diplomatic initiatives might have borne fruit, was regrettably not undertaken by India's leaders. Since '89, a resolution of the Kashmir dispute has obviously become more difficult. In recent years, successes of the Indian army in dealing with foreign-backed insurgency have coincided with a deteriorating situation in Pakistan. If negative trend lines within Pakistan continue, continued successes by Indian security forces will be completely insufficient to ensure a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue.


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