Kashmir On The Brink

Splitting Kashmir along the current Line of Control is the only real option.

Recently both India and Pakistan announced a thawing of relationship that had been put into deep freeze ever since a bloody attack on India’s parliament in 2001. The two countries have agreed to restore diplomatic ties, travel links and sports meets.

Pakistan’s prime Minister Zafar ullah Zamali initiated the latest peace track with a call to his Indian counterpart Atal Behari Vajpayee. A few days later, the 78-year-old Vajpayee, who has felt betrayed by two previous failed summits with Pakistan’s leaders in 1999 and 2001, promised one last peace effort at peace with pakistan: “The third attempt will be decisive and will be the last in my lifetime.”

At the core of the India-Pakistan dispute is the issue of Kashmir. Sports and travel exchanges can improve the climate for discussions about Kashmir, but they cannot resolve it. For any comprehensive solution, the Kashmir problem has to be addressed.

For all the passion and ire that Kashmir evokes, there is only one realistic solution. For to generations now, Kashmir has been split, two-thirds in India, one-third in Pakistan. That’s the way it has been since 1948 and that is the way it is destined to stay till hell freezes over.
Whatever the validity of each country’s historical claim and burden, that’s the inescapable political reality. It would be politically suicidal for any government, in either India or Pakistan, to hand over any new territory to the other. It’s untenable enough for both leaders to even acept the existing status quo.

There can be no other way.

The existing 1,000-mile long- Line of Control should be designated the new border of India and Pakistan and we should put the subject permanently to rest.

The energies and resources of both countries can then be better directed at social, economic and cultural development and exchanges for future generations.  

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