Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Pakistan President Musharaff's visit to India seems to have ended more satisfactorily than many would have expected. Atleast India has every reason to be pleased about the outcome. Since the eye-ball-to-eye-all confrontation of 2003, we can covered significant distance. There is a ceasefire along the border. There is relative peace in Kashmir. Sport and Cultural exchanges have taken place. Both sides are seriously talking about trade. We now have a bus link between two Kashmirs. And more CBMs are on offer. For all these goodies, what is the price India has paid ? Toning down on anti-Pakistan rhetoric, giving up our demand for passports on the Kashmir bus service and overcoming apprehensions about the Iran gas pipeline through Pakistan. All these seem trivial compared to the benefits we have reaped. But on the Pakistan side it may not be true. I would certainly say that all these are good for Pakistan too but a Pakistani with traditional viewpoint would want to differ. Peace and bonhomie in 'Held Kashmir' is not a good advertisement for Jihad recruitment! Trade,sport and cultural relationship with a 'Hindu India' does no service to the 'Kashmiri struggle'. Its true that Pakistan has heaped huge rewards from US for slowing down the Jihad Industry and 'co-operating' on its western borders with Afghanistan and Iran. But on the whole its fair to assume that Musharaff has conceded more ground than we have. I don't know whether he expects India to reciprocate at a later time. He may even be preparing the Pakistanis for accepting a Kashmir solution that may be well short of their expectations. India has always been a Status Quo party in this dispute and the recent initiatives do no harm to our position. Whatever may be the game plans of both sides, ordinary citizens can heave a sigh of relief that we can expect peace for some more time! I had once wrote in a blog that the "Only way for India to solve the Kashmir issue is to make it a non issue!". I'm not complaining about the recent events!