Aggressive talk
[Dawn] AN example of the negative signals that come from New Delhi from time to time is the provocative and debatable statement made in parliament on Tuesday by India's junior foreign minister. His country, said Mullappally Ramchandran, had identified 42 training camps for 2,500 bully boyz in Pakistain and Azad Kashmire. He said that no less than 249 attempts had been made by bully boyz so far this year to sneak into "Indian territory" by which he meant the part of Kashmire that is under Indian occupation. Then there was the allegation that all this enjoyed support from Pakistain's intelligence agencies. Mr Ramchandran's remarks come on the heels of Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid's recent press talk. While the foreign minister admitted that no one should be optimistic, he said there were "peace constituencies" in the two countries and that these had begun to have an impact on Pakistain-India relations. Does Mr Ramchandran's tirade reveal a rift in the Indian establishment on Pakistain?

All observers of the South Asian scene, including sections of the Indian media, admit there has been a reversal of Islamabad's undoubtedly flawed, pre-9/11 policy with regard to militancy: Islamabad had to crack down on the networks because they had become a threat to Pakistain itself. The ground reality in held Kashmire has changed: armed festivities between Indian security forces and bully boyz have become a rarity, and Kashmire's struggle is now being led by educated, urban youths, whose only weapons are stones and moral strength. Armed thus, they have kept their struggle for self-determination going. What Mr Ramchandran and his ilk should note is that the end of support from bully boyz from outside the Valley does not mean that the Kashmiris have acquiesced in their state's occupation by India. The protest is likely to continue irrespective of support or lack of it from beyond. All that Mr Ramchandran's uncalled-for outburst does is to give an inkling of the Indian government's approach, which shies away not only from a Kashmire solution but from a resolution of less contentious issues such as Siachen and Sir Creek.

Posted by: Fred 2012-12-07