Friday, February 17, 2006

Why the K word?

Looks like any proclamation by President Pervez Musharraf is incomplete without the K-word.

As he very aptly puts it: "Kashmir runs in my blood and I promise you we will make efforts to find a durable solution (to it)".

Even before US President George Bush's visit to the subcontinent next month, Musharraf has already said that the Big Brother should mediate in Indo-Pak talks on Kashmir.

And in a recent meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, the President amply made it clear that South Asia remains a perilous region due to "the persistence of the Kashmir issue".

In an attempt to find a "durable solution" to the Kashmir issue, the General had asked its nuclear-armed neighbour to pull out troops from three districts of Kashmir and had also suggested self-governance.

The proposals didn't even raise eyebrows in New Delhi.

"If they reject (proposals), they should give new ideas. If they do not give ideas, we will approach the international community," Musharraf remarked on Kashmir Day on Feb 5.

"We are at present going through the bilateral route to resolve Kashmir issue but if it fails we will take the multilateral route," he added.

Musharraf's iron resolve is supported by a section of media in Pakistan, which feels that India is "neither sincere nor serious in peace process in the region".

"Pakistan has scrupulously and perseveringly striven to seek resolution of the issue in keeping with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, but India has regrettably scuttled all her efforts due to its belligerence and obduracy," says an editorial in Pakistan Observer.

The Manmohan Singh government had recently announced that peace in South Asia is India's top foreign policy priority.

The paper outrightly blames India for depriving the region of its pie in the world economy.

"India is seemingly least interested in resolving this issue because it's neither sincere nor serious in peace process in the region. India is thus squarely responsible for keeping the South Asian region backward and depriving it of its rightful share in world economy."

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