THIS is apropos of Mian Arshad’s letter ‘Kashmir issue’ (March 20). He has mistakenly asserted that a referendum in the Falkands has ‘resolved’ that conflict.

Nothing has been resolved. The referendum’s result was a foregone conclusion. The islanders, who number less than two thousand, voted entirely in favour of staying with the UK.

However, the other party to the dispute, Argentina, had rejected the referendum well before the result was declared.

Argentina’s position is that the islands are Argentine territory and the islanders are squatters. Therefore, from the Argentine perspective, their wishes are irrelevant.

If there is a lesson in this for the Kashmir issue, it is that solutions have to change with the times and suit the particularities of a conflict.

A referendum in Kashmir might have resolved the matter in 1949; today a referendum presenting a bilateral choice between India and Pakistan wouldn’t satisfy the Kashmiris themselves.

If they are unhappy with India, that in no way implies that they are keen to become Pakistanis. It’s a no-brainer really. In the current time, when Pakistanis are falling over themselves to become Canadian and Australian, why would the Kashmiris volunteer for our illustrious nationality? More importantly, the on-ground fact is that India will never allow a referendum in Kashmir and Pakistan simply doesn’t have the wherewithal to force India’s hand.

Nor will we acquire the requisite wherewithal in the foreseeable future; if anything, Pakistan’s position vis-à-vis Kashmir has weakened internationally over the last two decades.

So while Kashmiris might have good reason for complaint against India, it is increasingly difficult to see what Pakistan’s continuing interest in this conflict is.


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Comments (16)

March 24, 2013 7:56 am
Unresolved Kashmir is important for pakistan' existence because if verdict comes whether in favor of india or pakistan , pakistani people will demand for development and cutting defence budget which the powerful military in no mood to give up
Krish Chennai
March 24, 2013 8:00 am
The writer has made a good point, which is that times have changed over a 70 year period, and Kashmiris deciding their own fate will have much less to do with Pakistan, than whatever it has with the Indian Union, which right from the beginning has assured a separate constitution for Kashmir, apart from that of India, and maintained it as sacred. So to speak, Kashmiris would most certainly view Pakistan as fire, to India's frying-pan. So putting it very bluntly, Pakistan weeping over Kashmir can be crocodile tears, at best. And if we want the people of Pakistan and India to view prosperity on a mutual basis, especially for the whole South Asia region ( about time ), with more important issues like river-water sharing, trade and resources, we need to work together on this, else the young will continue to fall over themselves to get to Canada or Australia, as the writer points out.
March 24, 2013 1:15 pm
well said
Altaf Hussain, Mumbai
March 24, 2013 1:31 pm
Sensible talk this.
Ujjal paintal
March 24, 2013 5:53 pm
At the time of independence in 1947 two nation theory was proposed by Muslim league in conivence of British rulers This proposal was neither practical nor implementable congress and other than Muslim league leadership opposed it. Two nation theory implied separate country for Muslim and separate country for Hindus and others was it possible how all the Muslims to be accommodated in Muslim nation though it was possible to accommodate all Hindus and other than Muslim in Hindu nation but it would have been a great injustice to Muslims living in other parts of the country which was not proposed to form part of Muslim nation subsequent events of history has proved that disregarding ethinik and linguistic groups can not live together creation of bangadesh is an example. had Pakistan not created a day before independence that is on 14aug under British raj history would have been different. Now if Kashmir is also claimed by Pakistan on basis of religion then what is their proposal to for the Muslims in rest of India has Pakistan a solution to that we in India own Muslims as any other people of other religion that includes Muslims of Kashmir pakistan must make a policy to first integrate the so called muhagirs and people of Baluchistan before they adventre to create ISI and state sponsored terrorist activities for the of so called cause of Kashmir.
March 25, 2013 12:26 am
Why should we share the Indus with India - it is NOT YOURS go swim in the ganges.
Aka, Canada
March 25, 2013 12:41 am
If Pakistan does not insist on having a referendum in Kashmir (which as the author says, is an impractical idea in present times), it will have no issue to divert the attention of its citizens from real day to day living issues in Pakistan. Referendum will not happen - and Pakistan just cannot accept that thought because of its own domestic political reasons. So, this drama will continue for another generation or two. Then, depending on the economic realities - Kashmiris will either go with India or alone.
March 25, 2013 1:13 am
Objective and Pragmatic Approach .Happy to read it.
March 25, 2013 2:11 am
Please live peacefully ...... and let live peacefully ......?
Akil Akhtar
March 25, 2013 3:25 am
Why is your military budget going up every year while poverty grows...
March 25, 2013 7:38 am
Dear Ali, India's poverty not grwos instead it come down 10% . As per present statistics, 26% are under poverty line. Now government is doing much bigger step to reduce the poverty level like Food security bill.
March 25, 2013 7:52 am
Akhtar, India is ten time bigger than Pakistan and as a aspiration to be a world power. Also she as extremely hostile neighbor like Pakistan & China. So India need bigger budget and she can afford it. But Pakistan? Simply can not afford such budget.
March 25, 2013 9:50 am
i think you havnt done your research work well my frnd.poverty rate in india is declining tremendously but military budget is increasing.that is actually being done to counter china which is now already a giant .
March 25, 2013 11:06 am
dont compare your country with India ,china or in that case USA there is no comparison, its time to get real
March 25, 2013 11:17 am
It is not Pakistan that is sharing Indus with India. It is India that is sharing it with Pakistan. We could have diverted all the rivers flowing from India into Pakistan long ago.
March 25, 2013 1:02 pm
Dont compare your country to china, India or in that case to USA, because there is no comparison, it is time for the pakistanis to wake up to the realities
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