Kashmir Revisited: Factoring Governance, Terrorism and Pakistan, as Usual
The enigma of Kashmir is unending. All analyses in respect of its solution seem mere repetitions of hackneyed recommendations. This paper is a confession of that disappointment. As a sequel to an earlier contribution to Heidelberg Papers (Working Paper No. 7, September 2002) the argument here that it is meaningless to find a solution to the problem simply through better governance in Kashmir as Delhi tends to suggest. Governance per se though critical in any social strife is of relatively less importance in Kashmir where the critical issue continues to be the legitimacy of Indian rule, an unresolved subject of Partition. To complicate matters is the issue of Muslim sense of frustration, justified or unjustified, across the globe in which the US role first as a Cold Warrior nation and then as a post-Cold Warrior arbiter of international order is of critical implication. All this makes Kashmir a meeting point of four sets of interests represented by Kashmiris, Indians, Pakistanis, and Americans. Lately, because of the Afghanistan connection, even the interests of the ‘international Islamic jihad’ have been mixed in the brew. As a consequence of this complex blend all solutions elude Kashmir. Stoically speaking, probably providence will ultimately determine the fate of this hapless paradise.
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