Britain and the Kashmir banana skin

January 29, 2009

Memories seem to be short in the British government when it comes to Kashmir. Foreign Secretary David Miliband stirred up a diplomatic row over the region during his visit to India earlier this month. As this piece in The Times says, Miliband angered Indian officials by giving what they described as “unsolicited advice” on Kashmir, over which India has three times gone to war with Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947 and over which it is in no mood to be lectured by outsiders, let alone the former colonial power.
It was on a visit to Pakistan and India in 1997 to mark the 50th anniversary of those two countries’ independence that the then British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, also got into trouble over Kashmir. Cook, who also served the Labour government, was forced to row back from suggestions that Britain might help resolve the long-running dispute. His intervention cast a serious shadow over the visit by Queen Elizabeth, who was at one point forced to cancel a long-planned speech.
The visit, during which the queen was accompanied by Cook, went downhill after that, and at one point a senior British diplomat was seen sitting, head in hands in despair, on the pavement outside Chennai airport. There were even suggestions, denied of course, that the British High Commissioner might be recalled. Tony Blair, then prime minister, had to patch up ties by assuring his Indian counterpart, Inder Kumar Gujral, that London would not meddle in Delhi’s dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir.
One wonders whether Miliband was reminded of all this before he went to India, and if he was, why did he walk into the Kashmir minefield once again. Or maybe he wasn’t, which poses a different set of questions about competence and institutional memory at the Foreign Office.

41 comments

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I think he is drumming up votes in the Londonistan parts of the UK during the elections due later this year.

But the whole thing was daft and the uk establishment has distanced itself from him.I mean India is UK’s second largest foreign investor after the US(think corus,jlr,land rover,axon,tetley etc etc) and a major market for its defence products and jet engines(think Indian aviation boom).

Why sacrifice all this for a country where 3/4 of UK terrorist attacks originate.

Posted by Shantanu Chatterjee | Report as abusive

No leadership in India can be talked into liberating Kashmir. Its absolutely impossible since more than 1 billion Indians see Kashmir as a part of India.
Mr.Miliband is just in his over-enthusiastic self – sleeping in the country huts and all. I wonder what his reactions would be if the IRA held London to ransom in a way similar to the Mumbai attacks -will he say ‘come on guys,lets have some peace talk with them’?

Posted by mitchell | Report as abusive

The names Indian media gave for Mr.Miliband and the fury of Indian political bunch that shook seats in London would remain in his memory as a night mare till his death.
Why in the first place would this bunch of mutts(brits) want to talk to India to resolve Kashmir ?? They are very much free to talk unilaterally with pakistan and convince pakist to forget kashmir as it is simply not in their fate.
The very idea they want to talk to India means they want to harm India. So Indians are damn right on this one to keep the broker mutts out of kashmir..

Posted by Anitha | Report as abusive

I think the article is very apt….a diplomat should be well informed and cautious while dealing with such a sensitive issue…this is where experience counts….we dont need such piece of advice…thanks but no thanks Mr.Milliband…

Posted by juhi | Report as abusive

“Mr Bean” sure had a piece of India’s mind. No Indian ever will ever approve of giving away even an inch of Kashmir.

Posted by Aaruni Upadhyay | Report as abusive

Mitchell 1 billion may be brainwashed to see what the indian media wants them to see, so does it mean the facts change? No!

The fact is there is UN Resoulution passed and promised by several indian leaders that it will be implemented.

To this day what has been implemented is over million soldiers deployed in the Indian Occupied Kashmir to oppress the local kashmiris. To silence their voices with guns, rape, murder, stage killings, dillectory tactics, dummy elections and most of all puppet regime installed to enhance New Delhi’s intrest.

Its time Inida needs to hear what the Kashmiris want. NOT what the indians think living comfortbaly in Bombay, Delhi or Calcutta. Ask the Kashmiris what they want as they are the one who are affected.

There should be a peblicite on whole of kashmir, Indian Occupied, Azad Kashmir and the chineses controled. As well as all the people of kashmir who have been forced to flee should return to their homeland. As I feel Kashmir is for ALL kashmiris that includes Hindus, Buddists, Muslims and Sikhs.

If the British want to help who created the problem in the first place should be welcomed. After all after 60 years the two countries are unable to find solution or come to settlement.

Posted by Hussain | Report as abusive

Mad indian dogs will use any means to oppress the local kashmiris muslims as they have been oppressing the muslims all over india. I mean just look at the BBC report today of protest in delhi or the harresment of muslims in india.

Mother of all democracies my foot! Mother of all liars would be much suited title!!!

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive

Miliband needs to be reminded that he cannot try to utilize the colonial policies of “Divide and Rule”. They are the result of Pakistan’s creation, Israel’s Palestinian problem and even issues with Ireland.

Think about it yourself, do you want to do business with a potentially huge economy or have British soldiers clean the Taleban mess? I think Britain’s opinion does not matter.

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive

How will acquiring more real estate or more population solve Pakistan’s problems?

You never had self-determination for 61 years, you are talking about self-determination for Kashmiris?!!

You haven’t produced a viable nationhood in 61 years. SunnI–Shia sectarian conflict, ethinc conflicts amongst the ethnic groups living within the current borders of Pakistan…..how is Kashmir going to fix these problems? or how will Kashmiris getting “liberated” from India will solve Pakistan’s problems?

If the people living in Jammu Kashmir have problems with Indian rule it is understandable. They have a “Kashmir problem”.

But why do the terroists from Punjab have “Kashmir problem”? This is a manifestation of “Pakistan problem”.

The Punjabi terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab shooting down civilians waiting at a Mumbai train station with AK-47 rifle is a manifestation of PAKISTAN PROBLEM. A PROBLEM OF GLOBAL PROPORTIONS. A PROBLEM OF PAKSITAN SPONSORING GLOBAL JIHADI TERRORISM.

Now is the time NOT to talk Kashmir, and no one in the international community has any leverage on India. Are you threatening more terrorist attacks? Let’s see.

China and Japan have disputes but China does not send in terrorists to a commuter train station in Tokyo to shoot at unarmed civilians. But this is what Pakistan does.

Malaysia and Singapore have disputes, but Malaysia does not send in terrorists to bomb temples in Singapore. But this is what Pakistan does.

Time to deal with Punjabistan’s terrorism. Citizens of Sindudesh, Jinnahpur, Republic of Balochistan (occupied Kalat), and Paktoonistan have started saying the same.

This is unfair to associate Bombay terrorist attacks with Kashmir. They are two separate issues. Terrorism is unacceptable in all forms whatsoever are the objectives.

Posted by Munzir | Report as abusive

Kashmir is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. Both Obama and Milliband are right to say that Kashmir hold the key to peaceful relations between India and Pakistan.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

@Paks,

Why do you guys have a pathological obsession with Kashmir? You guys cannot even patrol your own backyard, Kashmir is just an excuse so you don’t have to deal with your own problems.

What do you guys care about human rights? You guys don’t even treat women and non-muslims as equals. Remember Muktar Mai, the Pakistani woman who was gang-raped? Every male pakistani in authority waffled on the issue of women’s rights. The world has to pressure and embarass you Pakistani’s before you guys ever do the human and right thing.

If Pakistan quits interfereing in IOK, I guarantee you all the problems will go away.

If you insist that Kashmir separate, well, I insists that Sindh, Balochistan, SWAT and NWFP separate as well. It is clear the double standard is a mental illness you never want to cure yourself of.

Oh…and feel free to shutdown the Madrassa hate factories there in Pakistan. Mohemeddans (this is no different than if you call me a Ganeshist or Rama-ist, it really does not bother or offend me. I am not easily offended. You guys often have a one-side view of life in this world.

You guys can’t chose whether you want the dark age or modern age.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

You talk of individual cases of Mukhtar mai well how many mukhtar mais are in India countless I bet you! We had self determination for 60 years thats why Pakistan is still there living, breathing, strong and the struggle is still on to take Pakistan where it should be as Jinnah wanted. Where all Pakistanis have rights irsepective of religion, race, colour. Even in developed countries like britain they have race, crime, terrorist attacks and government failures. In comparison Pakistan is doing well yes there is long way to go and loads of challenges to meet but we as Pakistanis are ready for it.

Mr Raj at least you have the decency to admit “If the people living in Jammu Kashmir have problems with Indian rule it is understandable. They have a “Kashmir problem”.

I think you are the first one to at least admit there is problem well let me tell you as a Kashmiri Mr Raj it is NOT a problem it is OCCUPATION!!!

We Kashmiris do not want the indian security forces here and not over million of them to murder us, rape our women, kill innocent men in staged killing and destroying our homes. If there is no occupying force here there will be no excuses for people to commit terrorist acts at least not on the pretext of kashmir.

We are not saying it should go to Pakistan or India. What we are asking is our rights to be able to choose as kashmiris if we want to be part of india/Pak or independent. The only way it can happen is when the UN resoulution is implemented and the kashmiris will get their RIGHT OF SELF DETERMINATION!!!!

You can try to put any argument but the bottom line is Kashmir is for ALL kashmiris therefore only kashmiris should decide what they want. Not what is being planned in Islamabad/Delhi/Washington.

Posted by Hussain | Report as abusive

Global watcher think you should be india watcher first lol….. You write “If Pakistan quits interfereing in IOK, I guarantee you all the problems will go away”.

My idiot freind -IOK- Indian Occupied Kashmir – thats where ALL the problem is because it is OCCUPIED by your COWARD ARMY and you need to deploy over million soldiers to control unarmed kashmiris. That says a lot for the upcoming minimi superpower, never mind I think the world has already seen what the cowrad indian army is capeable of as they showed that in Mumbai for over three days could NOT put little terrorist to hell.

To my other deay idiot who rights if we ask for kashmir there should be indepedent Blauchistan NWFP etc etc.

Lets see how many sepratist movement are going on in india over 50. So why dont you have the same rule first give all those sepratist movement what they want their own homeland as do the kashmiris. Then talk about Pakistan I think that wuld be good start.

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive

Pakistanis should not just simply assume that all Kashmiri Muslims are “naturally” inclined to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan just because Pakistan was created in the name of Islam or for that matter “K” in Pakistan stands for Kashmir.

Kashmiri Muslims are much wiser to know where Pakistan stands now and in a way most Kashmiri Muslims are glad that Kashmir did not go to Pakistan in 1947. No one in Kashmir has forgotten what Pashtun tribesmen did to Kashmiri people in 1947. Kashmiri people irrespective of their religious affiliation were murdered en mass by Pakistan sponsored Pashtun tribesmen.

I don’t know about other Kashmiri Muslims but I am well aware of what Pashtun/Punjabi dominated Pakistan army did to their own Bengali Muslim “brothers” in 1970s or for that matter how Baluchis and to some extent even Sindhi ethnic minorities are treated in present Pakistan. I don’t even want to start on sectarian Sipah-e-Sahiba, which has made life miserable for Pakistan’s Shia minority. Strife, sectarian violence, economic collapse, resurgent Taliban, Pakistan has all these gems.

Kashmir is the center of dispute in South Asia and the cause of Mumbai attacks. Mr Miliband was giving India some tough medicine.

Hussain
” kashmiris should decide what they want. ”
—Fine,Kashmiri Pandits, the original inhabitants,will decide for themselves, vacate their land that’s been forcefully seized by you guys, you outsiders need not get all worked up for no reason…

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive

Pakis jumping in again !

Ali Umair and others Nice to see you alive, I thought american drones got you this time.

Anyways now if you are safe, Care for whatever you have now. Stop dreaming kashmir, if you keep hiding everything under the carpet of kashmir you may lose the existing pak territory as well.

Just my 2 cents (Thats what your country’s worth)

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive

To Pakistanis and those concerned about Kashmir: Can you address the following issues so that India/Pak/Kashmir and the whooe reagion is peaceful. I have posted this before and received no response—seems no one is realy concerned in the K-issue.

Here is another try:

1. What is Kashmir? Is it the Kashmir of 1947?
Kashmiris does not mean only Muslims. Convenient Amnesia?–Kashmir is the homeland of Kashmiri Pundits (KP) too. Recall genocide/exodus of Kashmiri Pundits. Kashmiri Hindus were asked to choose between Convert, Flee or Perish. “agar Kashmir me rahna hei, to allah ho akbar kahna hei” slogan was sung at that time. More than 500,000 fleed and many killed. Demographics changed-so no plebiscite.
2. Why did Kashmiri Pundits leave? ISI-backed terrorists commit atrocities (murder/house burning/rape-forced conversion to Islam) on KPs. Clearly, Kashmiri Muslims did not support their fellow minority Hindu brother/sisters. Such was not the case during Punjab terrorism when Sikhs/Hindus supported each other and are now deservedly co-existing together.
4. Why Indian Army and other paramilitary forces now? Ask ISI & terrorists.
5. Does India care about Kashmir? Oh Yes. Unlike bogus Azad Kashmir and Pak sucking POK resources like leaches, Indian Kashmiris have separate constitution, a separate flag, full rights granted under the Indian constitution to freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, the relief from taxes, and the sole right to own property in their state and lot more development. Who runs POK –Pak Punjabi PM) and CM of J&K is Kashmiri. So where is the oppression—in POK. Kashmiris are more rights than anyone else in India.
6. Do Kashmiris want peace? Elections (not bogus or forced) with good turnout show that they do. Let the political system evolve.
7. Is old UN resolution relevant now? It stinks. No same Kashmir—so what UN resolution?
8. Is independent Kashmir viable? No, it does not have any signs of a viable nation that can progress.
9. Are LeT type gps real Jihadis? No they are professional terrorists (mostly Pakistanis). SLOGAN “ONE PERSON’S TERRORIST IS ANOTHER’S FREEDOM FIGHTER” IS OUTDATED AND MUCH EXPLOITED. Quit it. Who are the real freedom fighters?—-Gandhi, Patel, Azad, Bhagat Singh and the list goes on…… who targeted the enemy not the innocents. The so-called Jihadis are terrorists who don’t care if they kill innocents, rather they specially target innocents. Calling them freedom fighters is insult to the principles of democracy and freedom. A nation cannot be built on these foundations. It will be a still birth.
10. Would “Independent Kashmir” stop this violence? No—because terrorists have a declared agenda (establish Islam rule over India) much larger than a free Kashmir.The whole “Independent Kashmir” will be a Jihadi playground for more attacks against India. Who can give guarantee of peace—no one—so what’s the point.

An independent Kashmir, without all its true inhabitants (Muslims&Pundits and others) at gun point by professional killers and no guarantee of drop in violence and at the cost of security risk to India—NO way.
Only possible UN resolution is to have a Kashmir of India and Kashmir of Pakistan with special status but under the control of India and Pakistan.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Pakistan if anything owes India land and lots of it. If India gives away Kashmir, it will just become another launching ground for attacks against India.

If it is not Kashmir, the Jihadis will make up another story and say all muslims are oppressed in India, fight India to separate.

They guys, who so jokingly call their country Pakistan, always will need a reason to hate and fight.

Like I just said, if it wasn’t Kashmir, it would be something else. If it wasn’t Israel…it would be something else.

The only way to deal with these Jihadi Mindslave expansionist facist like people is the constant threat of massive retaliation, the kind that can actually achieve something.

These people are either at your throat or at your feet. Negotiating with them is futile, risky and a useless endeavor, as they always break deals and lie.

I feel so horrible of the many innocent muslims that are duped and lied to into believing that India hates them, we do not, you also have a right to live as we do. It is beyond count, how many so-called moderate muslim minds have been perverted to wage Jihad against India, whether it is silent or all out fighting.

The only thing the Jihadi’s respect is overwhelming, mighty, sledgehammer punishing force. There is no negotiation with animals and enemies of civilization, rationality and humanity.

What is the most sad thing is that everyday Pakistani’s do not standup and protest extremism in their own country, but they come out in the hundreds and thousands to protest Obama, Israel, India, etc.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Hussain,
Again, are you from POK? It is relevant and useful for Kashmir issue. I have a post with several points about My view of the Kashmir problem under this article (check it and give me your views).
And about Rape cases in Pak you got to admit that the rape law is a problem and it is not isolated cases rather many cases. The reason is simple that rape law is on Man’s side. Woman has to produce 4 male Muslim victims acc. to Islamic Law [Why did they not bring four witnesses of it? But as they have not brought witnesses they are liars before Allah." Sura (24:13)]. Click here: http://www.gadiss.com/2008/08/reason-for -punishing-rape-victim.html
http://www.achrweb.org/Review/2006/132-0 6.htm
“Because of the evidence requirements of Islamic law: the victim’s testimony is disallowed, and SHE MUST PRODUCE FOUR MALE MUSLIM WITNESSES WHO SAW THE ACT. Anyone accused of rape is considered to have been involved in zina (adultery/fornication). The accuser (victim) must then produce four credible male witnesses to give testimony against the accused that he has raped the accuser. If the accuser fails to meet the witness requirement, then the accuser, usually a female, is by default charged of zina and, if convicted, given the punishment prescribed under the Hudood law. If the female does not bring up the accusation of rape, then the woman is by default charged with zina.”
“Many women who, once accused of zina, have claimed to have been rape victims, were charged and imprisoned under this Hudood law, as they failed to produce the supporting witnesses. THOUSANDS OF WOMEN HAVE BEEN LANGUISHING IN PRISONS OF PAKISTAN UNDER THIS HUDOOD LAW. A society that presumably wants to implement such laws for protection of morality and decency seems to be oblivious to the fact that these raped victims are further sexually victimized in prisons by police.”
Talking about religion in Pakistani it is the only place on the planet where individual’s religion is stamped on the passport (correct me if I am wrong) http://www.pakistanlink.com/Opinion/2005  /April05/22/03.HTM
“The passport was the only area in which Pakistan’s non-Muslim citizens experienced a semblance of equality with their Muslim compatriots. The simple entry in the passport stating that its holder was a citizen of Pakistan, without a mention of his/her religion, had become a breath of fresh air, a source of pride for those Pakistanis who cherish human equality, and a beacon of hope for better days ahead. This short-lived solidarity with human dignity did not agree with the country’s fascists, and understandably so. Hatred, arrogance and ignorance are main aspects of their behavior.”
Allah Hafiz

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

In a democratic country government is the representative of its people. Now, is the government in Pakistan a true representation of its people voice? A army general from Pakistan suddenly on a given day decides to confine the prime minister of the country and takes the charge of the country. I wonder if that is democracy. He than assures people of free and fair election, himself remaining in charge. How can one be sure the person then so elected is the true representative of his people. When the person who actually got elected in the first place(prime minister)is send on exile. I think when there is roar created by some extremist people in Pakistan that India should sit for talks with Pakistan. i think they should first ensure that they should have a fairly elected government in place.

Posted by abc | Report as abusive

Giles,

Is Muslim vote so crucial for survival of politicians in UK , that prompted Milliband to rake up an already dead issue of Kashmir? If Miliband is not aware of the history of sub continent, then I would like to educate him that as per Simla Accord, signed between India and Pakistan after humiliating defeat of Pakistan in 1971 war , Kashmir issue is now dead, even Musharraf suggested during his visit to India that LOC(Line of Control ) between India and Pakistan , should be treated as international border,the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan has lost its relevance . Moreover, people of Kashmir has never authorised Paksitan to advocate their causes , it is high time , the international community instead , should put more focus on elimination of terrorism and jehadi elements emanating from Pakistani soil .

Posted by Manish | Report as abusive

Bloggers:

while several Indian bloggers have strongly condemned the activities of Hindu Fundamentalist (I do too), I have yet to see any Pakistani blogger do the same for LeT, JuD, JeM and other such groups. Am I the only one to feel so? This is the core of the India-Pak animosity.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Rajeev,
You are absolutely right. We have seen how the Hindu fundamentalists are screwed severely by the ATS,by the media and of course,by the people. In Pakistan even the media,let alone the rulers seem to be sympathetic to the militants. The monsters they created long back is currently torturing them in the North Western borders.
How I wish we can at least see some Pakistanis protesting against the militants in SWAT and not against some stupid Danish cartoons. The nation and the people seem to be silent on this issue. Or is the Pakistani Government repeating the history again?-feeding its people with lies and ignorance as they did during the 1965 war.

Posted by mitchell | Report as abusive

I have yet to see any Pakistani blogger do the same for LeT, JuD, JeM and other such groups. Am I the only one to feel so? This is the core of the India-Pak animosity.
- Posted by rajeev

Consider them CONDEMNED! at least on my side. But that shouldn’t satisfy anybody. Pakistanis must condemn ALL kinds of extremism and their individuals that are brewing. Tehrik-e-Taliban, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, Baitullah Masud, Maulana Fazlullah, etc.!

Posted by Saf | Report as abusive

Mitchell,

There’s been protests in Pakistan on what’s happening in SWAT and other places. Except in the newspapers with one lousy picture, I too find it perplexing why I don’t see the marches or protests on TV. Perhaps they’re not violent enough.

However there can’t be any protests in SWAT itself. Because its been taken over, conquered, etc. So you’ll have to excuse the residents as they try to dodge the Taliban.

Though I hate to admit it, but yes there are some Pakistanis who are sympathetic to the militants, and if not, ignore or excuse it. It upsets me that they’ve got their priorities wrong. Here’s a thumbs up to the offensive in SWAT.

Posted by Saf | Report as abusive

Leaving aside the problems of Kashmir, which can only be resolved by India and Pakistan, the problem referred to by the blogger is that the current British government is incapable of leaving other people to get on with their lives without trying to interfere in their affairs.

It is the nature of the Socialist mind to want to control people. Whether at home or abroad, they just can’t help themselves.

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

Keeping KASHMIR swept under the rug may be a good short term cushion for India, but a very bad long term one, for sooner or later Kashmir will HAVE to be dealt with. In the meantime, they will continue living on pins and needles, all the while spending BILLIONS in Kashmir alone.

In fact the KASHMIR chorus is now emanating from every corner of the global leaders, not just Messrs. Obama and Miliband. If you think that Holbrook will leave Pakistan without offering anything on this issue, then you better think again! India has finally put itself under the international microscope. The squeeze is on.

What is she waiting for next? – Bangalore, Madras, Calcutta, etc?

HELLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELP US HELP YOU!

Posted by N. Javed | Report as abusive

N. Javed
Killing people in Mumbai will not give you a Kashmir, Yes you can spread terror for some time and ask USA for solving the issue. If terrorism keeps happening over kashmir, one day or another India has to reply in pakistans own language.

And you know if we take war upon enemy we will make a Baluchistan and Waziristan too. Just like we did in 1971.

Till then you can keep having wet dreams about kashmir.

—-

PS: USA will drop you like hot plate when their objective is complete in Afghanistan. They have done this with everybody so far.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive

@mitchell
Before the Mumbai attacks attitudes WERE hardening against extremism but india’s averse reaction has reopened the old debate in Pakistan about who is really the enemy. We WANT to get rid of T-ism and E-ism however;it would help if our neighbour had a more cooperative attitude.

Instead of saying “Pakistan is bad”,India should have said “there are moderates in Pakistan & there are extremists in Pakistan…lets engage with the moderates”.

Posted by Qasim | Report as abusive

N. Javeed,
What is she waiting for next? – Bangalore, Madras, Calcutta, etc?
– Waiting for Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore etc.

Posted by Blogger | Report as abusive

Hundreds of protesters have clashed with police in Srinagar, summer capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, police and officials say.

The demonstrators were rallying for the release of separatist leaders who have been detained in recent months.

They chanted slogans in support of independence for Kashmir and threw stones at security forces who fired tear gas shells to control the crowd.

The leaders were detained during elections held in December and January.

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive

N. Javeed, Ali, Qasim and others who have posted on Kashmir issue. Yes sure let us have an independent Kashmir but we cannot have just by asking and wishing. There are lots of questions which India-Pak in bilateral talks will have to go through. I have post in this blog with 9-10 points and my views on the issue, let us discuss that rather than using the same old rhetoric.

White man cannot solve all of our problems.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Giles Edgood,

In continuation to my earlier comment, Shimla Accord signed between India and Paksitan in July,1972 provides as under :
” In Jammu and Kashmir, the line of control resulting from the cease-fire of December 17, 1971, shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognised position of either side. Neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations. Both sides further undertake to refrain from the threat or the use of force in violation of this line. ”

Shimla Agreement is very explicit about this LOC and its conversion to international boundary , which leaves no room for any complacency on this account . By raking up an already dead issue, Miliband is fishing in troubled water. Asian Sub -Continent is the poorest region of the world , poverty, illiteracy and lack of health care are the biggest problem , and yet this region is the world’s most troubled region in the world , with proliferation of nuclear weapons, arms race between India and Pakistan, has made the region more unstable. There is global debate as to who is in the control of Pakistan? Pakistani economy is in doldrums, unemployment is rampant ,it is dependent on foreign aid. In this situation, the international community should talk about economic development, The most astonishing fact is that the poor Pakistanis are made to protest about danish cartons or salman rushdie, majority of pakistanis , average paksitani is as ignorant about them , yet they are made to protest , it would have more heartening to see average pakistani raise his voice against rampant corruption, economic deprivation , existence of terrorists on Pakistani soil which are more deterrent for its economic development and foreign investment.

Posted by Manish | Report as abusive

pakistanis got no brains!

lets say you got kashmir, then you will have a bonus of 195 million moslems from India who will become “personna non grottas”. Now that will certainly double your “begging bowls” for the donor world

they are already considered “unwanted” by most in India.

Posted by chander | Report as abusive

Here is an article I have copied & pasted:

Mohammed Hanif, the brilliant author of the engrossing book “The Case of Exploding Mangoes” (I have been planning to write about it ever since I first read it many months ago; and I will) – known to many for his stint at Herald before he joined BBC’s Urdu Service – has just written a most cogent and readable op-ed in The Times of India which is wroth reading; whether you agree with it or not. It is a good argument as well as a good read. And I say that even thought there are more than one points here that I might quibble with. But before we quibble, lets give Mohammed Hanif the floor – and a full and proper hearing. Here is the op-ed he wrote in The Times of India, in full:

Ten Myths About Pakistan

By Mohammed Hanif

Living in Pakistan and reading about it in the Indian press can sometimes be quite a disorienting experience: one wonders what place on earth they’re talking about? I wouldn’t be surprised if an Indian reader going through Pakistani papers has asked the same question in recent days. Here are some common assumptions about Pakistan and its citizens that I have come across in the Indian media.

1. Pakistan controls the jihadis: Or Pakistan’s government controls the jihadis. Or Pakistan Army controls the jihadis. Or ISI controls the jihadis. Or some rogue elements from the ISI control the Jihadis. Nobody knows the whole truth but increasingly it’s the tail that wags the dog. We must remember that the ISI-Jihadi alliance was a marriage of convenience, which has broken down irrevocably. Pakistan army has lost more soldiers at the hands of these jihadis than it ever did fighting India.

2. Musharraf was in control, Zardari is not: Let’s not forget that General Musharraf seized power after he was fired from his job as the army chief by an elected prime minister. Musharraf first appeased jihadis, then bombed them, and then appeased them again. The country he left behind has become a very dangerous place, above all for its own citizens. There is a latent hankering in sections of the Indian middle class for a strongman. Give Manmohan Singh a military uniform, put all the armed forces under his direct command, make his word the law of the land, and he too will go around thumping his chest saying that it’s his destiny to save India from Indians. Zardari will never have the kind of control that Musharraf had. But Pakistanis do not want another Musharraf.

3. Pakistan, which Pakistan? For a small country, Pakistan is very diverse, not only ethnically but politically as well. General Musharraf’s government bombed Pashtuns in the north for being Islamists and close to the Taliban and at the same time it bombed Balochs in the South for NOT being Islamists and for subscribing to some kind of retro-socialist, anti Taliban ethos. You have probably heard the joke about other countries having armies but Pakistan’s army having a country. Nobody in Pakistan finds it funny.

4. Pakistan and its loose nukes: Pakistan’s nuclear programme is under a sophisticated command and control system, no more under threat than India or Israel’s nuclear assets are threatened by Hindu or Jewish extremists. For a long time Pakistan’s security establishment’s other strategic asset was jihadi organisations, which in the last couple of years have become its biggest liability.

5. Pakistan is a failed state: If it is, then Pakistanis have not noticed. Or they have lived in it for such a long time that they have become used to its dysfunctional aspects. Trains are late but they turn up, there are more VJs, DJs, theatre festivals, melas, and fashion models than a failed state can accommodate. To borrow a phrase from President Zardari, there are lots of non-state actors like Abdul Sattar Edhi who provide emergency health services, orphanages and shelters for sick animals.

6. It is a deeply religious country: Every half-decent election in this country has proved otherwise. Religious parties have never won more than a fraction of popular vote. Last year Pakistan witnessed the largest civil rights movements in the history of this region. It was spontaneous, secular and entirely peaceful. But since people weren’t raising anti-India or anti-America slogans, nobody outside Pakistan took much notice.

7. All Pakistanis hate India: Three out of four provinces in Pakistan – Sindh, Baluchistan, NWFP – have never had any popular anti-India sentiment ever. Punjabis who did impose India as enemy-in-chief on Pakistan are now more interested in selling potatoes to India than destroying it. There is a new breed of al-Qaida inspired jihadis who hate a woman walking on the streets of Karachi as much as they hate a woman driving a car on the streets of Delhi. In fact there is not much that they do not hate: they hate America, Denmark, China CDs, barbers, DVDs , television, even football. Imran Khan recently said that these jihadis will never attack a cricket match but nobody takes him seriously.

8. Training camps: There are militant sanctuaries in the tribal areas of Pakistan but definitely not in Muzaffarabad or Muridke, two favourite targets for Indian journalists, probably because those are the cities they have ever been allowed to visit. After all how much training do you need if you are going to shoot at random civilians or blow yourself up in a crowded bazaar? So if anyone thinks a few missiles targeted at Muzaffarabad will teach anyone a lesson, they should switch off their TV and try to locate it on the map.

9. RAW would never do what ISI does: Both the agencies have had a brilliant record of creating mayhem in the neighbouring countries. Both have a dismal record when it comes to protecting their own people. There is a simple reason that ISI is a bigger, more notorious brand name: It was CIA’s franchise during the jihad against the Soviets. And now it’s busy doing jihad against those very jihadis.

10. Pakistan is poor, India is rich: Pakistanis visiting India till the mid-eighties came back very smug. They told us about India’s slums, and that there was nothing to buy except handicrafts and saris. Then Pakistanis could say with justifiable pride that nobody slept hungry in their country. But now, not only do people sleep hungry in both the countries, they also commit suicide because they see nothing but a lifetime of hunger ahead. A debt-ridden farmer contemplating suicide in Maharashtra and a mother who abandons her children in Karachi because she can’t feed them: this is what we have achieved in our mutual desire to teach each other a lesson.

So, quibble if you will. But do tell us what you think about the argument that Hanif is making.

Posted by Qasim | Report as abusive

Britain needs to keep the pressure over India on Kashmir, as it is root cause of terrorism and Indo-Pak friction. The Pakistani govt should also be vocal about the suppression and violation of Kashmiri human rights by India, which has been going on for 60 years.

@punjabiyaar
We are already tackling your agents in Waziristan/Baluchistan. Its good you brought up 1971, as it was the first instance of state-sponsored terrorism (Mukti Bahini) in South asia. Now Indians complain when Pakistanis reply to you in your own language.

Bangash,

Are you happy with the Mumbai attacks? Are you admitting it is State sponsored?

Do you know the history of East Pakistan/Bangladesh? Do you know why Mukti Bahini formed?

The very same way we accuse India of State terrorism in Kashmir, is exactly the same thing happening in East Pakistan. But worse.

It ended up in genocide and mass rapes. Are you seriously going to think this was an internal matter and deny it?

I know which side you’re coming from…and I don’t like it one bit…

Posted by Saf | Report as abusive

Britain has no rights meddling in the affairs of the sub-continent. They are partly responsible for this long lasting divide and hatred between India and Pakistan. The very idea of Pakistan was hatched in London. Most Muslims in India did not care when the Muslim League wanted to increase the momentum on the creation of Pakistan. Only their “direct action” achieved their objectives. And the violence that resulted has left a permanent scar in the relationship between the Indians and Pakistanis. There is passionate hatred against each other.

Before Mumbai 26/11 attacks, the two countries were beginning to warm up towards each other. Zardari even said that there is an Indian in every Pakistani. Kashmir had become quiet and there were discussions on reducing troops there.

Obama appeared in the horizon and said two things – that he would double up his efforts in Afghanistan and that Kashmir issue is a part of the plan. 26/11 happened immediately and everything was reset. This clearly shows that the whole thing was carefully planned out to drive a deep wedge in the bilateral improvements between the two countries.

Kashmir is not the root cause of terrorism. The US did not launch a war on terrorism because of Kashmir problem. Pakistan wants to cut a deal by including Kashmir in the plan as a bargain for its cooperation with the US in its war against terrorism.

In general the West has learned to turn a blind eye to the insurgencies inside Kashmir. What they call as terrorism is only that directed at them. As far India is concerned, whatever is happening inside its territory has not been included in the Western definition of global terrorism. The world, according to the Western powers, is only made up of Western Europe, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and rich countries like Japan, South Korea and some in the middle east. Of course one cannot exclude israel. The rest can go to hell and no one cared when Pakistani establishment went about bleeding India slowly. India was told to seek diplomacy. Once in a while a clown would be appointed to “settle” the matter in the sub-continent.

Pakistan’s agenda has been too India-centric. That is the only thing that motivates them to unite and do something. One can see it even in their sports teams. Losing to India is worse than death. Their psyche is rigid with a superiority complex. They do not mind the white men above them. But Hindus? No way. They are poor, they are unclean, they are unsophisticated, they are corrupt, they are stupid and most of all, they are weak. This attitude has taken over the Pakistani psyche. They will not mind eating grass, but somehow they have to achieve parity with India. This is a ridiculous attitude. They have spent their entire effort on bringing down India at any cost and have not done anything to build their infrastructure or set up solid foundations. Read the articles in magazines like Pak Tribune where one sees warped articles against India by every journalist.

Now people have to listen to inexperienced and ignorant clowns like Miliband on what to do. There is a huge Muslim vote bank in UK and Miliband will never mess with it.

Anyway, if Kashmir is given away to Pakistan, it will not end anything. Trust me. It might make them blind sighted and they might try to do more before getting burnt. Their hatred for India and Indians overwhelms their emotions and they will blame India for everything until their country falls apart. It is unfortunate. Superiority complex is a dangerous emotion and Pakistanis have been ruined by it. And amongst themselves, the Punjabi Sunni Muslims have the worst attitude towards others. It is they who are driving their country’s military, intelligence and politics.

If India manages to survive through the onslaught, sooner or later this contempt will begin to turn towards the Sindhis, Mohajirs, Baluchis and so on. Then the self destruction will accelerate. India has to do nothing. Even if Pakistan gets Kashmir as a part of the bargain, it needs to exist as a country to keep Kashmir.

Hopefully India will not see BJP in power for sometime. Those loons might start some religious calamity to get to the seats of power. But if the moderates and secularists can retain power, sanity will prevail and it will allow the disintegration of Pakistan, which will be the best thing for the rest of the world and eliminating global terrorism for good.

Comments no Comments, U people are wasting your time by speaking on Kashmir issue or kashmiris, there is no point to debate on it because no one can resolve it Kashmir was paradise but is no more it is like a dead body now no soul in it. No rights no human rights and nobody can give it to them. No U.S, No Britian None other Supreme Powers of world can even speak on it word is not authorised by india. Anyways i don’t want to waste my time out here speaking on kashmir issue but there is request please don’t involve word kashmir in mumbai attacks because it was terrorism not freedom movement and kashmiri’s are not terrorist. I think we all know who did it so please don’t bring us kashmiri’s in the scene of mumbai we are no were near to that.

Posted by naila | Report as abusive

[...] is deeply sensitive about foreign visitors talking about Kashmir — as British foreign ministers have learned to their cost on earlier trips. It regards Kashmir as an integral part of India and refuses even to recognise the territory at the [...]