VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA: This is with reference to Tariq Fatemi’s article of July 13 titled “Peace prospects with India”. What is required for Pakistan is to reduce its force strength at the border with India, remove the threat by non-state actors and also recall non-state actors sent to Kashmir.
Then India can follow by drawing down its troops from Kashmir. Once Kashmir is in such a state, then both countries can consider upgrading their trade links. Also, in the meantime, the two sides can sit down and negotiate, starting with minor issues. If that were to happen with some degree of success, it would be seen as a tangible confidence-building measure. That could, in turn, build up momentum for the resolution of more serious issues, leading eventually to Kashmir.
One thing that Pakistan should not expect is that India will hand over Kashmir on a silver platter. It was ceded to India. The best solution really can be that the Line of Control is declared as the international border between the two countries, and that people on both sides are given permission to move freely across it. Both countries could share in the defence of the region.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2011.
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