Pakistan’s Kashmir problem

Alok Rai in the Daily Times:

20090703_ed05 (The present article grew out of a series of exchanges between two friends, one Indian, the other Pakistani. “Kashmir” is a problem with far-reaching consequences for both societies. It is important that members of civil society on both sides of the border talk to each other in a spirit of serious engagement, and so carry forward the people-to-people dialogue beyond the not insignificant level of biryani and banter. It is in that spirit that this view from India is offered.)

My proposition is simple — despite the proclamations of generations of Pakistani leaders, Pakistan’s Kashmir problem has nothing to do with Kashmir. It is a fact that the transfer of power in Kashmir way back at the time of Independence and Partition was a messy business — but that is over and done with.

As far as the UN Resolution is concerned, there is simply no possibility of a return to the status quo ante. Even if it were possible to imagine Pakistani forces vacating “Azad Kashmir” — a.k.a. POK, but why bother to go that way? — and of Indian forces vacating Indian Kashmir, there is no possibility of returning to that time in which the plebiscite was supposed to be held.

More here. [Thanks to Manisha Verma.]