ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Kashmir Time for Rethinking

Gautam Navlakha The capacity of the Indian state to keep off outside intervention in Kashmir remains restricted due to its refusal to accept the participation of the Kashmiri people as essential to a negotiated settlement OUR political elite has a tendency to swing between xeonphilia and xenophobia. This is evident from our response to the US president Bill Clinton's speech at UN General Assembly where he talked of "bloody ethnic, religious and civil wars' ' raging ' 'from Angola to the Caucasus to Kashmir''. Officials and commentators decry this' interference' by US in India's internal affair. Yet until recently Indian establishment bad mounted a sustained campaign internationally around the theme of pan-Islamic fundamentalism and Pakistan's proxy war against India in Kashmir Indian government had hoped that the US will place Pakistan in the list of terrorist states' moved by India's concern about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. The US refusal to do so was taken as a rebuff. And in a cynical display of self- serving patriotism members representing the CPI(M), BJP, Janata Dal andCongress(I) agreed to comprise the team of MPs sent by the government of India to the UN General Assembly to defend India's dismal human right record and claim that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Clearly, while the Indian political elite remains indifferent to the policy of suppression of the Kashmiri people (thus providing a handle to the US) it is outraged by the US criticism of India' s human rights violations! Our mishandling of the problem has narrowed our options to either initiating trilateral talks between the three parties (the governments of India and Pakistan, and Kashmiri representatives from Indian and Pakistani Kashmir) or being forced to do the same under the aegis of the UN security council and/or the US.

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