Home / Opinion / Quick Edit /  Flak vs. slack

The death of General Pervez Musharraf sparked a verbal duel in India between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress over Pakistan’s former military dictator. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor called Musharraf a “real force for peace", and the BJP objected. Pushed on the backfoot, Tharoor said it was in the Indian spirit to recall the departed with generosity. Both parties agree that the Pakistani leader deserves flak. He hurt his country’s democracy and India-Pakistan relations by overthrowing an elected government after having engineered a war in Kargil, as he did by most accounts, and then played a duplicitous game in the US-led “war on terror" after the attacks of 9/11. Yet, his legacy includes a four-point Kashmir formula forged with former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh to turn the Line of Control irrelevant. The four points? Demilitarize both parts, let locals mingle freely, grant self-governance sans independence and set up a joint mechanism to oversee it. Cerebral, chimerical or execrable, this is the closest India and Pakistan have ever come to a peace pact on Kashmir. It’s also why history might yet cut Musharraf some slack.

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