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Rebel without a cause!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Indo-Pak relations: A paradigm shift?

International diplomacy and relations involve much hair splitting about words and position. So when a nation which has consistently taken a strong position on an issue due to domestic pressure, starts to give out statements which seem to be atypical, it can be an indication of a major policy shift.

Pakistan's spokesperson has said that it has never claimed Kashmir. Technically, she is right but it is inconcievable that a Zia or Bhutto or Sharif would have ever said that. Musharraf is walking a desperate tight-rope and it does seem that this time around he is desperate to improve relations with India even if that means giving up claim on Kashmir.

Ordinary Pakistanis appear to be exhausted with the noose of Kashmir that has been tied around its neck. While in the past, Kashmir was a desperate fight for survival as a separate identity from the indian past, the situation has changed. Indian leaders have acknowledged the legitimacy of Pakistani nation state. Pakistanis would love to have Kashmir but they feel more secure in retaining their identity even if a muslim majority Kashmir stays peacefully in India.

These events though insignificant seem to be rumblings of a major tectonic shifts in Indo-Pak relations and they are heading in the right direction.

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