Comments on: Hopes low, stakes high when Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers meet http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/07/12/hopes-low-stakes-high-when-indian-and-pakistani-foreign-ministers-meet/ Perspectives on Pakistan Thu, 01 Oct 2015 19:31:05 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: prasadgc http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/07/12/hopes-low-stakes-high-when-indian-and-pakistani-foreign-ministers-meet/comment-page-4/#comment-31187 Wed, 28 Jul 2010 06:36:01 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=5743#comment-31187 Saif,

Thanks to you too. Your non-partisan overture is what made this friendly exchange possible in the first place.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

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By: RajeevK http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/07/12/hopes-low-stakes-high-when-indian-and-pakistani-foreign-ministers-meet/comment-page-4/#comment-31181 Tue, 27 Jul 2010 21:40:03 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=5743#comment-31181 Saif1980:

I wish there was more participation from Pakistan. Thank you to you and others for keeping the discussion on track. Hope to see you around.

Take care!

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By: saif_1980 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/07/12/hopes-low-stakes-high-when-indian-and-pakistani-foreign-ministers-meet/comment-page-4/#comment-31145 Tue, 27 Jul 2010 04:21:33 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=5743#comment-31145 Thank you gentlemen, I have learned a great deal from you. Thanks for helping me understand your point of view. It is amazing what can be accomplished when we don’t hurl insults at each other.

Best Wishes.

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By: RajeevK http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/07/12/hopes-low-stakes-high-when-indian-and-pakistani-foreign-ministers-meet/comment-page-4/#comment-31121 Mon, 26 Jul 2010 19:16:05 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=5743#comment-31121 Ganesh:

@And again, as Rajeev pointed out, India has its share of sentiments too, mainly the feeling that we have put up with sustained provocation of a kind that would have caused any other country in our place to retaliate and annihilate our tormentor, i.e., that Pakistan is immensely lucky to have India as its constantly-provoked neighbour and not Israel, China, Russia or the US. Those are not countries that forgive provocation the way we have done (Compare India’s response to 26/11 (Mumbai), the Dec 3 attack on parliament and other attacks with Israel’s policy of “disproportionate response” towards all its enemies, China’s 1979 response to Vietnam’s “provocation”, Russia’s treatment of Georgia and the US response to 9/11). Pakistanis may disagree with this view (many may like to think it is weakness or fear rather than restraint) but we are talking about India’s *sentiments* here, so you should try and validate them even if you don’t agree!”

—Ganesh: To that Pakistanis reflex would be to say that India would have done the same as the USA, Russia, China and Israel except that that Pakistan is no Afghanistan, Iraq, Georgia, Vietnam and Palestine.

However, the fact that India did not wage war against Pakistan, especially even when Pakistan did not have nukes (and India did) supports your statement.

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By: RajeevK http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/07/12/hopes-low-stakes-high-when-indian-and-pakistani-foreign-ministers-meet/comment-page-4/#comment-31119 Mon, 26 Jul 2010 19:06:32 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=5743#comment-31119 I think we have consensus that normalization of relationship will require more people to people contact, an effort at decreasing/eliminating misunderstanding.

I must add that in general electronic journalists (the bloggers) have played negative role so far (there are some genuine exceptions here). In my opinion, they are people with biases who have a handle to spreading the misinformation to large numbers of gullible audience who take their word as a fact. I look at them having a public rally and telling lies or spinning facts into the context of India-Pak relationship. This will require that spreading the misinformation about a country is stopped. Temptation is great but rewards are zero and rather this is waste of time and is so counterproductive. All these blogs need to keep overall broader picture in mind not just the short-term.

We need more fire extinguishers than more fuel. Blogs can pick whatever they want. This is not to say that the facts should be buried under the pile of political correctness.

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By: prasadgc http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/07/12/hopes-low-stakes-high-when-indian-and-pakistani-foreign-ministers-meet/comment-page-4/#comment-31063 Sat, 24 Jul 2010 06:00:53 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=5743#comment-31063 Saif,

To continue the discussion which seems to be making progress :-), you said:

> So India’s position is to make LOC the international border.
I am not completely against this but where does this leave the Kashmiris?

OK, this may be a naive position, but there may be many phases to the resolution to the problems of Kashmiris.

In the first phase, there is a significant cooling of political and military tension between Pakistan and India on account of the border agreement. That should stop the terrorist support that so angers India and Indian public opinion. This would be a prerequisite to subsequent phases.

In the second phase, we may see the relaxation of border controls when the terrorist threat abates. Then citizens on either side may freely cross over to the other country for business or pleasure. Gradually, the terms of these visas could be extended and even cover permanent residency, e.g., citizen of Pakistani Kashmir and permanent resident of Indian Kashmir and vice-versa.

In the third phase, cross-border property rights (especially for Kashmiris on either side) may follow. In this phase, Kashmiris do not yet have full self-determination other than free elections to their respective state governments, but the two parts of Kashmir are no longer divided in the sense of restrictions on travel, business, residency, property ownership, etc. This is the “irrelevant borders” phase which is the most that people seem willing to concede today.

In the fourth phase (and I admit this will be the most difficult), if irrelevant borders are not deemed sufficient freedom and Kashmiris on both sides still wish for independence, the two democratic nations of Pakistan and India may agree to hold a plebescite and withdraw from their sides. This scenario is unthinkable in today’s context, but who knows what changes in mindset will come about after a decade of peace?

> One of the reason, I want peace between India/Pak is so that we can get out of the clutches of our military. I have great admiration, respect and love for our troops in the trenches in safeguarding and defending our country, I just don’t like our generals running our government & cricket boards.

This is true of any party that has no accountability, and we see shades of this in every country including India. The PA is no exception, and it will be necessary to rein them in. Only you Pakistanis can do it, and we should all pray for a gradual strengthening of democratic institutions in Pakistan. (I’m not being smug here but sincerely hopeful.)

> Regarding ‘historical injustice’, someone stated that it was a Pakistan problem not an India problem. […] Any settlement would require India to take these sensitivities of Pak & Kashmiris into consideration.

As Rajeev says, the sentiments of Pakistanis and Kashmiris are probably quite different and shouldn’t be clubbed together. The sentiments of Kashmiris probably revolve around independence and resentment against foreign oppression (whether Indian or Pakistani). The sentiments of Pakistanis probably revolve around the loss of Bangladesh, a sense of being cheated out of Kashmir, Indus water sharing and a dozen other smaller issues.

Yes, these will have to be addressed.

And again, as Rajeev pointed out, India has its share of sentiments too, mainly the feeling that we have put up with sustained provocation of a kind that would have caused any other country in our place to retaliate and annihilate our tormentor, i.e., that Pakistan is immensely lucky to have India as its constantly-provoked neighbour and not Israel, China, Russia or the US. Those are not countries that forgive provocation the way we have done (Compare India’s response to 26/11 (Mumbai), the Dec 3 attack on parliament and other attacks with Israel’s policy of “disproportionate response” towards all its enemies, China’s 1979 response to Vietnam’s “provocation”, Russia’s treatment of Georgia and the US response to 9/11). Pakistanis may disagree with this view (many may like to think it is weakness or fear rather than restraint) but we are talking about India’s *sentiments* here, so you should try and validate them even if you don’t agree!

I am sure many mutually conciliatory statements will be made by both sides if and when a border agreement is finally reached, so the sentiments on all sides may be assuaged. In most arguments, people want validation of their feelings as much as they want a settlement. I’m sure that will be part and parcel of any peace package.

Let’s stay optimistic.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

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By: RajeevK http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/07/12/hopes-low-stakes-high-when-indian-and-pakistani-foreign-ministers-meet/comment-page-4/#comment-31052 Fri, 23 Jul 2010 23:38:30 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=5743#comment-31052 @So India’s position is to make LOC the international border.
—saif1981

–Saif this is pretty much what the backchannel talks was about between Ex-Pres Musharraf and ex-Indian PM Vajpayee and later on with PM Singh.

With Musharaf’s exit, Pakistan now has shifted its stance to older one.

@ Any settlement would require India to take these sensitivities of Pak & Kashmiris into consideration.
Posted by saif_1980

—First off let us not talk about pak and Kashmiris in the same breath about sensitivities–perhaps u did not mean that way. Let us keep 2 sensitivities separately and there is a India’s sensitivity too who got attacked few times over Kashmir. But I think Indian position is taken for guaranteed.

So autonomy was an idea to take care of the sensitivities. The world is not perfect. Autonmous Kashmir is much better than no Independent Kashmir.

There are unaddressed concerns of India as mentioned earlier if Kashmir becomes an independent nation.

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By: Seekeroftruth http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/07/12/hopes-low-stakes-high-when-indian-and-pakistani-foreign-ministers-meet/comment-page-4/#comment-31050 Fri, 23 Jul 2010 21:36:09 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=5743#comment-31050 As I posted before Pakistan ideologues never kept their end of the bargain. For 63 years,  it has always been the story of Pakistan striking alliances with big powers to harass India.  In addition to providing massive aid, and military gadgets& weaponry used against India, USA was providing cover to Pakistani terrorism not only in JK but in other states of India.

Kashmir issue is residual project of TNT. India cannot accept TNT, this doesn’t mean India is not interested in peaceful and prosperous Pakistan with its current borders.  Indian muslim ambassadors who proudly represent India at UN and in Muslim countries have pointed this out repeatedly over 63 years. Rafiq Zakaria (Representative of India at UN and father of CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria) describes an incident at the UN in 1965, where he read a poem about why Kashmir will be /should be part of India, and ZA Bhutto angrily misbehaving towards him and walking out.

Nice exchange of ideas. We can continue to work on resolving problems without redrawing borders.

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By: saif_1980 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/07/12/hopes-low-stakes-high-when-indian-and-pakistani-foreign-ministers-meet/comment-page-4/#comment-31038 Fri, 23 Jul 2010 16:57:16 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=5743#comment-31038 So India’s position is to make LOC the international border.
I am not completely against this but where does this leave the Kashmiris? I imagine they would now be at odds with both Pakistan and India. They have paid the same price for independence that so many other nations have, including Pakistan, India from the british, Bangladesh from Pakistan, Afghanistan from Russia, Vietnam from china/france/usa. Will Kashmir be the hateful, resentful chechnya of south asia?

One of the reason, I want peace between India/Pak is so that we can get out of the clutches of our military. I have great admiration, respect and love for our troops in the trenches in safeguarding and defending our country, I just don’t like our generals running our government & cricket boards.

Regarding ‘historical injustice’, someone stated that it was a Pakistan problem not an India problem. Given our post-colonial history, I can understand India’s indifference to pakistan’s grievances whether they are legitimate or frivolous. I disagree though that it should be of no concern to India in the context of peace-negotiations. The sense of injustice ,in my opinion, is the most powerful emotion there is. Any settlement would require India to take these sensitivities of Pak & Kashmiris into consideration.

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By: RajeevK http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/07/12/hopes-low-stakes-high-when-indian-and-pakistani-foreign-ministers-meet/comment-page-4/#comment-31032 Fri, 23 Jul 2010 06:40:35 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=5743#comment-31032 Saif and all:

I think it boils down to looking at the situation in reverse way: What are the pre-requisites for peacefully addressing Kashmir issue and mutual peace in Indian/Pak?

I have concerns about the viability of any solution on K-issue. Many will have similar concerns. It requires that India and Pakistan get along well. I personally do not trust Pakistan at this point—and the feeling is mutual I am sure. As has been suggested by Dara, Ganesh and yourself, India-Pak–economy/trade, people to people contact, all sorts of links need to open up, student exchange programs begin need to start—-without compromising security; hostilities in any fashion must stop–be that issuing those inflammatory statements from either side or the use of non-state actors. Media must not be used as a medium to express concerns. Set up some mechanism.

So all of the above is not a “pre-condition” in negative term as politicians spin it. It is to facilitate the solution.

Pakistan needs to be clear about who really rules the country. This is not anymore a domestic issue since PA pulls strings to control politicians and they cannot do a thing without asking PA. This has been a huge hurdle except when Musharraf was President and the backchannel talks started. All positive gestures by Pak politicians for India have been ridiculed by PA.

@It seems to give India exactly what it wants and the opposite of what kashmiris want according to your own linked report.”
–NOt true, as others pointed, that is not what GOI’s position. AJK, GB, Shaksgam valley, Aksai China all are disputed and GOI officially claims them including L. Why Musharraf-Singh/Vajpayee were working on borders irrelevant solution? What was their basis? I think it was more out of what is practical. If India and Pakistan are unwilling to lose territory, the next best solution is what the back channels offered. May be I am mixing reality with dream (smiling).

@ I was a little taken aback by this statement: (exclude other factors like “100,000? killing). Surely, this is not just a factor that can sanitized by Article 370.”
—I am not approving or ignoring killings. My idea was to compare the constitutional status of Kashmiris in India and Pakistan in the absence of other factors. Let us always keep in mind that “100,000+” killings are the result of proxy war by Pakistan and IA action—India alone cannot be blamed for it as the propaganda is. Except for 1987 when GOI rigged the election, nothing of the sort happened later on. Election rigging is not restricted to Kashmir it happened in other Indian states in the past. Not anymore anywhere due to better voting system in place. Compare with AJK where in all 63yrs it is Islamabad that selects who will rule AJK and who will stay out. In Indian JK, Separatists boycott the election, not banned by India. So that was my point.

@3. Regarding the pandits, I post annoying questions to Kashmiris just as I do here. They tell me that it is the Pandits that are ‘communalists’. They say Pandits want to be with India on the basis of religion with complete disregard for the wishes of the majority which does not want to join islamic republic of pakistan but have their own independent secular country. They also say pandits have collaborated with the security forces to oppress and massacre the kashmiris. You may see this type of discussion yourself in kashmiri forums”
—–That Hindus left their native place due to terrorism is not restricted to Kashmir. It happened earlier in Punjab. Hindus living in smaller towns with not enough security migrated out of state or to bigger towns. My family stayed back but some of my relatives had to migrate. GOI did not collaborate with Hindus to move them. Sikhs do not blame Hindus for migrating. THis has been an allegation against K-Pundits that they disappeared overnight from valley because GOI planned this thing and that they collude with authorities. This is the worse thing that can happen when one is victim and is not considered a victim but an aggressor. How can I tell this K-Pundit girl I know of that Pundits are communal after she lost her mother and brother to violence by so-called “freedom fighters” (assumption is Pak-based terrorists or Kashmiris: I pick Pak-based terrorists since Kashmiris are not that cruel) and father was permanently mentally disabled, their house burnt in Sringar.

i do not go to many K-forums but I am sure this is unending discussion. Whether Pundits are communal or Muslims did not support Pundits enough, the point is neither supports that K-movement is secular. The displacement of half million K-Pundits killed the secular part of the movement. How many will go back to independent Kashmir is any body’s guess. In the absence of diversity, the Kashmir will not be the same. Where is the Kashmiriyat.

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