Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Should LoC be made the border?

Should LoC be made the border?

The critical issue between India and Pakistan is Kashmir and unless the mistrust built over time is resolved amicably, everything else will just be a lip service. The last 50 years of endless discussions skirting around the issues has produced nothing but wars and terrorism. The need of the hour is to take concrete steps to reach a breakthrough by changing the playing field and the rules of the game. For a successfully growing Indian economy last thing we want is another futile war with Pakistan

which will push back our economy again by decades.

We are yet to fix Pakistan on negotiating table to give up its preference for terrorism. In the absence of an international border, Pakistan always gets away in the pretext of providing 'moral' support to 'freedom fighters' of a troubled territory. Indian diplomacy therefore is unable to book Pakistan's misdoings as act of war. An international border will leave Pakistan no such hiding stone and it will never risk a direct war by crossing ‘international border’. This will go a long way in reducing infiltration and subsequently restoring peace in Kashmir.

It makes huge political, economical and diplomatic sense for India to freeze LOC as the international border. We never had the piece of land called POK anywhere except on our map and ego. We are spending billions everyday to fight sponsored terrorism. We haven’t cornered Pakistan in international forums. We always seem to be reacting to Pakistani adventures. We need to break this routine and redefining international border would be first step of success.

Of course in accepting LOC as the international border there are issues like accrediting POK as part of Pakistan but this would be a very good carrot to beat Pakistan on the negotiating table. We can not only clinch a hard bargain from Pakistan in lieu of POK but also better address the root cause of terrorism by giving the people of Kashmir a chance to benefit from shining Indian economy.

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