Time to leave Kashmir

Time to leave Kashmir
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First Published: Wed, Apr 11 2007. 12 18 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Apr 11 2007. 12 18 AM IST
It is encouraging that Manmohan Singh, India’s Prime Minister, has not ruled out “demilitarization” of (Kashmir). But it is depressing that... he has kicked it into the long grass: consideration by committees of experts. There are at least three good reasons for cutting troop levels in Kashmir. First, present numbers are not needed... More important, withdrawing soldiers would be hugely popular in Kashmir, where alienation from Indian rule runs deep... Third, (it) would be a great boost to the painstaking rapprochement between India and Pakistan. As Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz, repeated at a regional summit in Delhi... a settlement in Kashmir is “the cornerstone of a sustainable, expanded relationship”. It is also, if the leaks from back-channel contacts between the two countries are to be believed, tantalizingly close. Their positions, informally at least, are converging...
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First Published: Wed, Apr 11 2007. 12 18 AM IST
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