The Kashmir conflict — will it ever be resolved?

Published: November 28, 2011
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The writer is a former senior adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General and served as a special assistant to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

The writer is a former senior adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General and served as a special assistant to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

Many commentators on the subject, some with good intentions, do not know, or do not care to bear in mind, the vital distinction between ‘Kashmir’ and the ‘State of Jammu and Kashmir’. The former is an entity, known as the Vale of Kashmir or the Kashmir Valley and by its own inhabitants as ‘Kasheer’, which has sustained an independent existence and settled continuity over centuries and whose individuality, as defined by its terrain, its customs, its language, its literature and its memory, has been historically established and recognised.

The latter, by contrast, was a product of a sale deed conducted by the British in the mid-nineteenth century which, by sheer logic, should have disappeared with the end of that period.

It follows that what is being talked about as the ‘Kashmir dispute’ has never had any existence in reality for large parts of the State of Jammu and Kashmir as it stood in 1947. What, however, has not been settled, what is very much the heart of the matter, what is, indeed, the cause of the death and depredation of the last more than six decades? Is the conflict over the status and future of Kashmir as historically known i.e. the Kashmir Valley and its adjacent Kashmiri-speaking areas?

This point may strike some as either academic or elementary. It is neither; in fact, ignoring it would doom any effort to resolve the tragic conflict on a basis of just principle. Some consequences of disregarding it, although only in thinking, have already become apparent. One of these is the suggestion of partitioning the State of Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control. This suggestion may have some attraction for the ignorant and the unwary, as well as for those who wish to settle the dispute on India’s terms in a disguised form.

First, as the Line of Control does not run through Kashmir — the Vale falls entirely on one side of it — the suggestion seeks to gift the territory in dispute in one fell sweep to one party, India, and to dismiss the respective claims of the other two parties, Pakistan and Kashmir, while assuming an air of impartiality. Second, it purports to partition a mythical entity, the State of Jammu and Kashmir, while it seals the fate of an actual living people, the people of Kashmir.

It is a central fact of the Kashmir dispute that the Security Council recommended a settlement on the basis of the will of the people as impartially ascertained through a plebiscite under the control of the United Nations. The council did not pull this recommendation out of thin air nor was it inspired by the idealistic promptings of either the council or the leadership of the world powers. If it were so, India would have been within her rights to question why the formula should be held to be sacrosanct and immune from repudiation. But the proposition was squarely based on what the contestants themselves — both of them — demanded separately; the only thing the council supplied was the mechanism of setting the stage for, and organising, the required plebiscite.

It is a unique characteristic of the Kashmir dispute that it is one on which the parties have recorded their voluntary agreement on the principle as well as the lines of the desired settlement. This happened more than once, first, spontaneously in official exchanges between the parties; second, when India approached the Security Council and Pakistan followed; third, when the council appointed a commission which adopted two resolutions and the parties conveyed their acceptance of them in writing. The dispute erupted into a major conflict only when one of the parties, India, reneged on that agreement.

The official exchanges I mentioned are categorical, not twisted by ifs and buts on either side. The assurances solemnly given by India are numerous. Jawaharlal Nehru, originator of India’s Kashmir project, summarised them in his broadcast to the nation on November 2, 1947: “We have declared the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. That pledge we have given not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world. We will not and cannot back out of it.”

And this is what a senior Indian journalist, Vir Sanghvi wrote in his column for The Hindustan Times in 2010: “If we are the largest democracy on the planet then how can we hang on to a people who have no desire to be part of India?… Why are we still hanging on to Kashmir if the Kashmiris don’t want to have anything to do with us? The answer is machismo… Is the future of India to be held hostage to a population less than half the size of the population of Delhi?… If you believe in democracy, then giving Kashmiris the right to self-determination is the correct thing to do. And even if you don’t, surely we will be better off being rid of this constant, painful strain on our resources, our lives and our honour as a nation”.

Reportedly, the US State Department has labeled the violence and repression in Indian Kashmir as “an internal Indian matter”. A former senior CIA officer, Robert Grenier, on Al Jazeera on July 14, 2010, called this posture by the Obama administration “craven”. When one contrasts this with the legitimate interest that the US showed in human rights in Arab states, and the consequent action it took, one loses all faith in protestations of moral concern underlying American policies and attitudes.

At the present stage, whatever may be the real impulse and intent of US policy, the prevailing public impression is that it is governed by the strategic partnership between the US and India, with the latter envisioned as a counterweight to China.

Then, as a Kashmir-born, I feel acutely distressed. As an American, I feel simply outraged. That it should happen during the presidency of Barack Obama begs belief.

 

(The above was modified from a paper presented by the writer at a seminar “Kashmir and the regional jigsaw puzzle for peace” organised by the Muslim Alliance Foundation, and held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC on November 14)

Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (93)

  • Dennis Dey
    Nov 28, 2011 - 11:14PM

    The writer disregards the Pakistan-sponsored ethnic cleansing that has gone on for the last 30 years, with the Hindu Pandits having been driven out from their ancient ancestral homes in Kashmir to live in squalor on the streets of Delhi. Kashmir doesn’t belong to Muslims alone, as the writer seems to suggest. The Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhist Ladakhis would happily remain with India. The very name “Kashmir” is derived from the ancient Hindu sage “Kashyap”, i.e., the land of Kashyap.

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  • Abdul Rehman Gilani
    Nov 28, 2011 - 11:39PM

    Till the Kashmir issue is not solved, and that too by the UN sponsored plebiscite there will be no peace in South Asia.Period.

    But of course, the indians here will start chanting atoot ang and akhand bharat as usual…..Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    Nov 28, 2011 - 11:44PM

    Nehru and his promises he did with Sikhs too at the time of partition in 1947 and then later he declare and treated as crimnals so what we expect for kashmiris (Tubsi te tus kersi).

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  • Nov 29, 2011 - 12:08AM

    @Dennis.
    Kashmir allready divided in two Jammu containe Pundits and Sri Nager Muslims. and by the way kashmiri muslims also becoming a beggers in the streets of Dehli and Bombay
    and its a shame for world Largest Hypocracy.

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  • Homa
    Nov 29, 2011 - 12:09AM

    Total distortion of history. Why doesnt he call for pakistan to vacate POK, which was a precondition for the plebiscite and why is he silent on the genocide of the hindus in kashmir valley? Why doesnt he mention how outraged does he feel as a “kasmir born american” about the bombing of pakistan by nato, if he has any intellectual honesty?

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  • You Said It
    Nov 29, 2011 - 12:16AM

    @Abdul Rehman Gilani:
    Till the Kashmir issue is not solved, and that too by the UN sponsored plebiscite there will be no peace in South Asia.Period.

    Pakistan will never consder the Kashmir issue solved, until it owns all of Kashmir. The issue is doomed to linger on, unless there is a major change in the shape of either of the states.

    If there is no peace, that is Pakistan’s choice. India will continue to pay the cost through huge force deployments. Pakistan will continue to pay the cost in terms of extremism seeping into every aspect of its society, and through supporting an armed force it cannot afford.

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  • PoorPeace!
    Nov 29, 2011 - 12:18AM

    Yeah sure. Lets have the UN sponsored plebiscite. But before that can we ask Pakistan to get akai chin back from China, remove all its civilian and military from POK and merger POK with J&K, stop sending militants to J&K so that all native citizens of Kashmir return to their homeland and that includes Kashmiri Pandits, Ladakhi Buddhists and few Sikhs.

    If it can then yes lets have “the UN sponsored plebiscite”. Go on!Recommend

  • PoorPeace!
    Nov 29, 2011 - 12:21AM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    Your knowledge is deeper than the ocean, higher than the sky, blacker than the night etc etc.
    Can you please enlighten us on the Nehru and Sikhs issue?? Perhaps other historians missed it and you are the only one who knows the truth.

    Waiting for enlightenment.

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  • Timan
    Nov 29, 2011 - 12:48AM

    What complicates the Kashmir issue, as I understand, is larger than the will of the people living in the region. The root of the contention, to my belief, is that the Kashmir region is also strategically and economically crucial to both India and Pakistan, and also of interest to China. Hence a democratic solution is not likely to be a preferred option for any country.
    From a geographical positioning, the area of the high mountains and passes has been of strategic importance for the security of the two nations and hence has been the underlying cause of the multiple wars fought to date.
    Also, to highlight one direct economical impact among many others, the valley provides control of the main rivers that provide much needed water for the agricultural and everyday needs of the highly populous region along the current India-Pakistan border which are key to economy of both countries.
    Not to say that the voice of people in the region is not important, but giving a small group of people the choice to vote on a solution for what seems to be a local situation, but in reality impacts both countries in more broader sense, is in my belief will not solve the region’s problem.
    The approach towards a solution, in my opinion, is to keep egos, history and violence aside, identify and discuss broader security and socio-economic concerns of the region, find an amicable solution that addresses those issues and we will eventually have a solution that’s best for India, Pakistan and the people of the region. Such a solution can only be achieved through an internal dialog between India and Pakistan with active participation from the people of the Kashmir region.Recommend

  • G. Din
    Nov 29, 2011 - 1:36AM

    @Homa:
    Short answer: When it comes to interest of Islam, no Muslim ever had any intellectual honesty, period. They are so committed to “khilafah”, any subtraction of that is a big-big no-no! But this is 21st century. The idea of “khilafah” is doomed! Kashmir is “an atoot ang” of India. Nothing will ever change that.

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  • Jalib
    Nov 29, 2011 - 2:01AM

    Great piece by the author. But of course let’s expect an Indian invasion of intimidation to begin in the comments section. For a proclaimed “democracy” its citizens are surely brilliant at stifling opinions.

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  • Raja Islam
    Nov 29, 2011 - 2:11AM

    Perhaps the best solution will be to give Kashmir its independence both from India as well as from Pakistan.

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  • Sanjeev
    Nov 29, 2011 - 2:15AM

    The author dwells on the subject quite well – Kashmir, but presents only one side of the story, how India was always at fault.

    In his last para he writes ” as a Kashmir-born, I feel acutely distressed. As an American, I feel simply outraged”.

    Sir – You understood yourself as a Kashmir born, but not as an Indian/ Pakistani born, you could get connected to Kashmir the valley, but could not connect with the sub continent…but it was easy to relate as an American.

    So as they say in the movies God bless America – so you are blessed too.

    India does not need prodding for its interest, it will take its own decision, we will not sell our country soul for goals which will destroy our social fabric and ethos, we have not done in the past when we were big and weak nor we would do in future when we are big and strong.

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  • Deb
    Nov 29, 2011 - 2:18AM

    The tribal invasion which is the genesis of what is known as AZK or POK (take you pick) was definitely not within the scheme of things as per the UN resolution.The deliberate ans systematic change of demographic profile of AZK/POK has taken out the sting of the UN resolution as well.
    One can reasonably argue about it. But to ignore and remain silent about it is morally and intellectually dishonest.

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  • Curious1
    Nov 29, 2011 - 2:27AM

    Kashmir dispute can only be resolved when Pakistan becomes very strong on economic front and not by the military might (that we won’t have). It’s too late to indulge ourselves militarily and we tested, failed and lost East Pakistan. Now we can’t lose Baluchistan due to our wrong and crazy ideas.

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  • Amit
    Nov 29, 2011 - 3:09AM

    A one sided humbug! Just tell the world you are interested in Kashmir valley only beacuse of religion. Don’t try to be all righteous and give us the sermon of ‘will of the people’, when pakistani supported terrorists to kill innocents. How can you even think of championing their cause??

    In fact, if anything Pakistan has occupied Kashmir and calls it ‘Azad Kashmir’. Azad from What… Pakistan. Gimme a break.

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  • You Said It
    Nov 29, 2011 - 4:19AM

    @Yusuf Buch:
    The summary of the Kashmir issue and its possible solutions have been better addressed by a number of different analysts/authors. This article doesn’t even begin to present a coherent summary of the problem, let alone expound on a solution.

    This is not surprising, given the patently wrong assertions in this article. To start with:
    1. The UN resolution on the plebiscite was for the princely state of Kashmir. This area includes Jammu & Kashmir state, POK, Gilgit & Baltistan and Aksai Chin. It did not apply to the Kashmir valley alone.
    2. A prerequisite for the plebiscite was that Pakistan withdraw all forces from the region. Pakistan never fulfilled this requirement.
    3. …

    I can go on, but the list is long and has been better captured elsewhere. This is a waste of time and words.

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  • American
    Nov 29, 2011 - 4:44AM

    The muslims in general, and Pakistani muslims in particular, and Kasmiri Muslims specifically, are treacherous, and dishonest, and ready to stab any one around…including their brothers, father and mother…never mind their neighbors. It is not surprising that the whole world has one view and Pakistanis have a different view. They mix economics with politics, politics with Sharia, and every thing with religious virtuosity and self flagellation. They are the eternal martyrs; have been for last 1000 years, and will be for next 1000 years. They “prefer” to be martyrs, and they would never negotiate with reality in view. otherwise, Kashmir, and Palestine, Chechnya, would have been solved long ago.
    They talk about religion of peace, and tolerance, while killing every one in sight, and driving all non-muslims out.
    Who will negotiate with them ? On what basis ?
    Welcome to martyrdom for ever !
    By the way, you can eat nuclear bombs, along with grass while shouting how unjust the world is..

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  • Homa
    Nov 29, 2011 - 5:15AM

    @G. Din: You are one hundred percent right G.Din. Brainless trashy arguments repeated ad nauseam. They are not even concerned how uninhabitable their own societies are becoming because of islam.

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  • Homa
    Nov 29, 2011 - 5:26AM

    By they way, there was a news item just the other day that kashmiri muslim girls are defying the obscurantist mullahs and are joining mainstream indian economy as air hostesses of different airlines and other professions. 99 percent of Educated muslim youth of kashmir want to be an atoot ang of india. They are fed up of insurgency. The “intellectual” who wrote this article will probably get a shock upon hearing the news about how kashmiri girls are choosing personal freedom and want to be a part of this new century which belongs to india.

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  • desh bhagat
    Nov 29, 2011 - 6:27AM

    Since independence , Pakistan has not been able to keep happy its own people. The reality is Pakistan is just interested in increasing its size and is not interested in Kashmiri people. History has already shown what happened with Bengalis which led to creation of Bangladesh. Pakistan army is a hawk and will do the same in Kashmir though India will never give up. So its better to divert Pakistan scarce resources in development of the area it already holds and leave the Kashmiris alone for next 50 years. By that time a new generation w
    ith new ideas from both countries can follow a policy of appeasement and not confrontationRecommend

  • prashanth
    Nov 29, 2011 - 6:56AM

    @PoorPeace!:
    Hey guys, what about Bangaldesh? UN resolution is applicable only to United Pakistan not west Pakistan alone. With the condition Pakistan is in, Kashmiris are likely to prefer Bangladesh over Pakistan!

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  • Abdul Majid Zargar
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:29AM

    There are two false things being promoted through readers comments. No.1 that Hindus were subject to a genocide in Kashmir & made to flee the Valley.Look at the Indian official figures given in Parliament.Only 209 Hindus killed in total as against 99,078 muslims between 1990 till date. If you add the figures of 1947 killing of Jammu Muslims, the figure reaches around 6 lac muslims done to death. Now if you call killing of 209 Hindus as genocide then you will to discover some new word for killing of so many muslims. No 2 is that Hindus were made to flee by muslims. The fact of the matter is that Governor Jagmohan devised a devilish plan to take them out of valley to show to the world that it is a muslim movement so that it is defamed. The fact of the matter is that the biggest votaries of Kashmir’s independence have been Kashmiri Hindus like Ramchander Kak, Premnath Bazaz,Moti Lal Saqi and host of others.So Please read the correct history before you make wild comments

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  • Amit Raina
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:37AM

    I am myself a victim of mindless terrorism sponsored by Pakistan. The fact is that Pakistan has never been able to digest the fact that a Muslim majority state chose India over Pakistan. The accession may have been signed by a Hindu King but was ratified by the most popular Muslim leader ‘Sheikh Abdullah’ and his winning the first election with absolute majority, further endorsed the people support. The land of Kashmir has been part of India from time memorial. Like all Indian language, the Kashmiri language is from Indo-Aryan family, and largely derived from Sanskrit. Kashmir for thousands of years has been one of the main learning centres for India and was seen as major Hindu & Buddhist Centre. The name Kashmir comes from a Hindu sage, the capital Srinagar was named by an Indian King ‘Ashoka’ and all Hindu rituals of Kashmir are very much the Hindu practises of India

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  • History Student
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:52AM

    If a group of armed men enter your house, drive out or execute all its inhabitants save for maybe a lucky one or two who escaped, and then called for “peace” and “human rights” by declaring that ownership of the house can be determined by a plebiscite (of course the occupants of the house are no longer the original owners), will you accept this as a fair proposal? This is India’s take on the Kashmir “issue” when assessed through a historical lens.

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  • N
    Nov 29, 2011 - 8:25AM

    Are we prepared to withdraw per the resolutions?
    What if Kashmiris on both sides decide to come together as one and reject us along with India – are we willing to let Azad Kashmir be free of us?
    If your answer, as a Pakistani, to both questions is yes, then are you prepared to run as fast as you can?

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  • narayana murthy
    Nov 29, 2011 - 8:54AM

    @Abdul Rehman Gilani, who says “Till the Kashmir issue is not solved, and that too by the UN sponsored plebiscite there will be no peace in South Asia.Period.”

    And the worst sufferers will be Pakistanis.

    Besides, Kashmir issue is solved. The LOC is already the de facto border. All Pakistan needs to do is keep silent or suffer. The choice is yours.

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  • Dennis Dey
    Nov 29, 2011 - 9:09AM

    @Ali Tanoli (and all those who are suggesting discrimination against Sikhs): please come to your senses. India’s PM is a Sikh, the President of the Congress party is Roman Catholic and ALL the top Army Navy and Air Force officers are Sikhs. The top positions in all ministries are Sikhs. So don’t drag “discrimination against Sikhs in India” into this argument. Please let us know if you have recovered Salman Taseer’s son. As far as we know, he has been abducted because his father stood up for minorities and gave his life for them.Recommend

  • sajid
    Nov 29, 2011 - 9:28AM

    Kashmir is the shehrag of Pakistan. No matter what Indians say we will not step back from Kashmir.

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  • RS
    Nov 29, 2011 - 9:40AM

    Plebiscite is dead horse now… Following that there have been number of wars, terrorist attacks..

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  • Anthony Soprano
    Nov 29, 2011 - 10:44AM

    Kashmir is no longer an issue for us Indians.If the jihadis couldnt win it in 1990’s when we were literally on our knees economically,how do u propose they will win it now.Do u know that the hindus of jammu,buddhists of laddakh and the shia muslims living in kargil etc are proud to be Indian.Can u even imagine these people joining pakistan seeing what happens to their brethren daily.Shia’s are slaughtered,hindus dont even have right to officially register marriages and buddhists are extinct.The things have looked bleak for the jihadis ever since the army fenced the LOC and deployed Israeli sensors at the border.So it’s curtains for them.This year tourism was at it’s peak with 7,00,000 tourists and the economy is booming.Hopefully AFSPA will also be removed.

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  • malik
    Nov 29, 2011 - 10:52AM

    When the going gets tough, the tough talks about Kashmir !

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  • Khurram
    Nov 29, 2011 - 11:19AM

    @Homa I am a proud Pakistani with the moral courage to call spade a spade and one hundred percent agree with you. I too do not buy this one sided biased analysis. If there is any viable solution to this problem it lies only in jointly declaring and recognizing the Line of Control as an International Border once for all guaranteeing an easy access to travel across it for the people living on both sides of it.

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  • antanu
    Nov 29, 2011 - 11:39AM

    @Dennis Dey:
    and who were inside the 2700 graves recently found in Indian side of Kashmir…at any forum, please avoid looking only at one side of the coin

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  • Ex
    Nov 29, 2011 - 11:40AM

    U wish Kashmiri don’t care If pakistan is poor or rich because they are Pakistani at we are one people @prashanth:

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  • Anjum
    Nov 29, 2011 - 12:31PM

    @Abdul Majid Zargar:
    Correct. But between us, It is a pity that the old leaders was not able to take Kashmir back. Talk is useless with Indians, hopefully, in future when Pak get on her feets the mulims majority of Kashmir will come back home. Inshallah.

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  • Jayan
    Nov 29, 2011 - 12:37PM

    @sajid: You should be thankful to the honesty of India in keeping Kashmir as a muslim majority state even afrer 64 years. If it was your all weather friend china Kashmir’s demography should have been changed now by settling more Hindus & Sikhs there, this is what your friend is doing in their Ujjair region to avoid another islamic militant revolt in that region

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Nov 29, 2011 - 12:54PM

    @Author,

    BTW,

    3) Whatever the agreement was between India and Pakistan in the 1950s, one of the parties, Pakistan ceased to exist in 1971.

    4) Also, would your definition of Kashmir include the portions of it under Chinese control?Recommend

  • You Said It
    Nov 29, 2011 - 1:06PM

    @sajid:
    Kashmir is the shehrag of Pakistan. No matter what Indians say we will not step back from Kashmir.

    Sure you will — a few years after the MFN, once Pakistan gets used to the revenue from trade, Kashmir issue will become just another mantlepiece — to be brought every Eid and election season for getting the masses talking and then relegated back to the dustbins as everyone gets back to making money. Just look at the Kashmiris hooked on the tourism Rupees they are making this year. You will be no different.

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  • Zamindar
    Nov 29, 2011 - 1:22PM

    @RS – Kashmir will always be alive as a hot issue as they have nothing in common with India and cannot be subdued by their army of Nazis that has been trying to bury it since the last 64 years!

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  • asdf
    Nov 29, 2011 - 2:37PM

    @Khurram:
    Agree with that. Make the LOC the international border and end this once and for all. Too many of our countries resources (human and monetary) are being used up and they can be put to better use like education and healthcare.

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  • let there be peace
    Nov 29, 2011 - 3:07PM

    A fair solution to Kashmir problem is simple.
    1. Pakistan and china should hand over illegally occupied Indian territory to India and
    2. there should be peaceful exchange of populations between India and Pakistan for those in India who don’t think they are Indians and the Non Muslims and Apostates from Pakistan.

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  • dude
    Nov 29, 2011 - 3:25PM
  • Sanjay
    Nov 29, 2011 - 3:42PM

    A Kashmiri Pundit at the UN Assembly began: “Before beginning my talk, I want to tell you a story a mentioned in the ancient text of Kashmir “Neelmat Puran”, about Maharishi Kashyap, because of whom Kashmir valley came into existence after draining all the water in which it was submerged, after whom Kashmir is named.
    When Rishi Kashyap struck a rock and it brought forth water, he thought, ‘What a good opportunity to have a bath.’ He took off his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water. When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. A Muslim had stolen them.”
    One Muslim representative jumped up furiously and shouted, “What are you talking about? There were no Muslims then.”
    The Pundit smiled and said, “And now that we have made that clear, I shall begin my speech….

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  • Amit
    Nov 29, 2011 - 4:05PM

    @Abdul Majid Zargar.. what have you been drinking… 209 nine Hindus killed by militants in Jammu and Kashmir in perhaps one of the biggest ethnic cleansing. Please provide us the link as you say its official Govt of India Figure. I really don’t believe.

    And secondly please don’t tell us Hindu pundits want independence from India. That is biggest nonsense I have heard. They may be drugged by Pakistan for all i care. I have seen my best friends family suffer in Delhi because of this militancy so please don’t insult the feelings.

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  • vivek ruparel
    Nov 29, 2011 - 4:54PM

    @Abdul Rehman Gilani:
    Read the UN commission decision, Pakistan had 2 vacate d region completely hand it over 2 India b4 holding plebiscite. shamelessly mis representing facts is common with U people. Same Question can b raised abt merger of Balochistan 2 Pakistan. Its time u guys took care of ur nation Karachi manage nahi karr sakte Kashmir leke bhi China ko beech hi doge finallyRecommend

  • Tony Singh
    Nov 29, 2011 - 5:43PM

    @Abdul Rehman Gilani:
    Discussing Kashmir without discussing partition is a futile exercise. If Punjab could be divided. If Hindus and Sikhs could be trown out from Peshawar and Lahore, then how can one discuss J and K? If anybody is not happy to live in India, he/she can take one way ticket and leave.Recommend

  • G. Din
    Nov 29, 2011 - 5:52PM

    @Amit:
    @Anjum:
    @Abdul Majid Zargar:
    “The fact of the matter is that the biggest votaries of Kashmir’s independence have been Kashmiri Hindus like Ramchander Kak, Premnath Bazaz,Moti Lal Saqi and host of others.So Please read the correct history before you make wild comments”
    Why stop there? Name any more if you can. You may add non-Kashmiris as Arundhati Roy, Vir Sanghvi and a guy who habitually posts on this forum masquerading as an Indian -antanu. The scale still doesn’t tilt in your favour. Now, when those Kashmiri Pundits you named, were supporting independence for Kashmir (for reasons completely personal and extraneous to the welfare of Kashmiris, how many Kashmiri Muslims supported them? None! Kashmiri Muslims were then led by Sheikh Abdullah overwhelmingly and it is upon his (Sheikh’s) endorsement of the Instrument of Accession signed by the Maharaja of J&K, Hari Singh, that India sent its army in to blunt Jinnah’s surreptitious attempt to annex the state. This is well-recorded – and correct – history which you cannot wish away!

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Nov 29, 2011 - 6:03PM

    @Amercan Hindu,
    Time is coming closer and closer before its too late world should realized that kashmir , palestine and chechnya will get free from occopy forces and the blood of innocent peoples
    not gonna go waste and we can see how world economies are shaking and crrumbling
    so waite is not too long. we gonna see who eat grass.
    @Poor peace
    u indian knows more than me so just google it and see how sikhs got annoyed by hindus
    in 1947 and after that and by the way @Danise ,, sikh are in forces because hindus cant
    fight.Recommend

  • RS
    Nov 29, 2011 - 6:22PM

    @Zamindar.
    Please calm down and don’t misquote me. I said Plebiscite is a dead issue not Kashmir.

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  • Bammbaayyaa
    Nov 29, 2011 - 6:25PM

    First … Talk about POK … only then thnk of IOK as u might call it …
    Inshalla if Pakistanis keeps nudging India … it will be time that India will have to forcefully take POK.. As they say on the wgha border ” Pyar se mango Kheer denge , Kashmir mango to Ceer denge ” … I think the kheer is getting sour as its shelf life has exhausted… The Cheer part is getting better by USD 5 billion IAF plan … and the COLD Start …

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  • PoorPeace!
    Nov 29, 2011 - 6:42PM

    @Ali Tanoli:

    “sikh are in forces because hindus cant fight.”
    ROFL! You are a pure comedy show. :-)
    If Hindus can’t fight and Sikhs are disgrunted from India then why will they remain in the armed forces of India and not take over.

    u indian knows more than me

    First talking truth it seems. Hahahahaha….

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  • A Fahran
    Nov 29, 2011 - 6:57PM

    Kashmir is an Indian territory including the occupied territory by Pakistan. The issue of Kashmir is dead as muslims of India have succeeded and Pakistan has failed to respect minorities. One common thing I hear in this forum is once Pakistan needs to become economically strong before fighting for Kashmir. To become economically strong-first and foremost aspect is peace and tolerance for all in society-something that is impossible for Pakistan to even achieve. Only a fool can imagine wresting kashmir from India. The bigger issue will India allow the occupied territory remain with Pakistan.Pakistan has been the single most destabilising factor in Afghanistan progress in the last 50 years. With these problems-Pakistan will not only lose its part of Kashmir but also may not last with its own borders. After all it has way too many enemies.Recommend

  • Nov 29, 2011 - 7:06PM

    @Poor peace
    u guys believe too much on google so please go and google it in 1983 from indra administration one well known sikh bearocrate resigns for the reason was he open the secret memo of serdar patel and Nehru issued for sikh to considered and treated like criminals??? please like i said google it or get google…Recommend

  • Nov 29, 2011 - 7:12PM

    @A Farhan
    U Kow why Btitish occopy india in the name of busniss because of many mir jafar and mir
    sadiq were in the sleeves of mughal empire Khar of aag lagi khar ke charagh se……

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:14PM

    @Ali Tanoli:

    Time is coming closer and closer
    before its too late world should
    realized that kashmir , palestine and
    chechnya will get free from occopy
    forces and the blood of innocent
    peoples

    OK. I understand you are waiting for Ghazwa-e-Hind, Ghazwa-e-Russia and Ghazwa-e-Middle-East-Whatever all at the same time.

    But, which innocent people are you talking about? Stone throwers or suicide bombers?

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:22PM

    @antanu:

    and who were inside the 2700 graves
    recently found in Indian side of
    Kashmir

    Ask the Pakistan government. Afterall, it’s they who sent these Jihadis across the border.

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:27PM

    @Ali Tanoli:

    sikh are in forces because hindus cant
    fight

    You are wrong at so many levels, but fundamentally, do you know that Sikhs are predominantly Hindus who followed Guru Nanak (who was a Hindu Bedi Kshatriya) into a different stream of life/thought?

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  • Ali Akbar Khan
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:30PM

    By the grand design of Almighty Allah, Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has been projected that Muslims will become a majority in India by 2025. Once that happens, Kashmir will automatically be handed over to Pakistan. There is no need for acrimony or argument in this regard.

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  • Nov 29, 2011 - 7:50PM

    @Yuri kondratyuk
    Yes i believe but i ask many sikhs they dont.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:52PM

    @ Yuri
    They dont have to do that any more soon.

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  • Nov 29, 2011 - 7:55PM

    @Yuri
    Is there any more Ghazwa u need whats going on is not enough.????

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  • Anwar Khan
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:58PM

    Buch Sahib, guys like you living comfortably are stoking the anti-Indian sentiments without suffering the consequence and for that kind of posture the Kashmir issue will never be resolved. Since 64 years of our creation we Pakistanis are pursuing an improbable Kashmir agenda and in the mean time because of our “enemy of our enemy is our friend” policy we have sheltered all kinds of nefarious elements in our society. Those elements are ruining our economy, killing our friends and neighbours and we are fighting for our survival as a nation. Please Sir, suggest better ways how we and the Indians can live in peace and prosper Pakistan that it is capable of doing.,

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  • amar
    Nov 29, 2011 - 8:26PM

    all has been said above but no new solutions by anyone how to resolve this tragedy for the people of the state of jummu and kashmir people just going on about the past the majority of the state do not want pakistan or india both countries are as bad as each other if eaither of the countries thought about the people of jummu and kashmir then they could hold referendum in their held territory observed by the un and eu and nom and russia and the results need to be then respected after but neaither country is big enough to do this

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  • amar
    Nov 29, 2011 - 8:36PM

    simple solution pakistan and india should hold a referendum in their respective held territory observed by un .eu . russia. nam and result should be respected but not india and not pakistan willdo this so they can both eat crap and talk crap

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  • wise counsel.
    Nov 29, 2011 - 9:19PM

    @Ali Akbar Khan:
    1000 years of muslim rule could not eliminate the hindus.How do the muslims plan to do it by 2025?If they do it through loving hindus and marrying them, some sort of love jihad which is going on now, then, it shows how hindus dont mind bowing to love , however false it may be!!!!

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  • Johnny
    Nov 29, 2011 - 10:38PM

    It may not be a bad idea for Pakistan to get pass their ego and give up Kashmir altogether. By doing so, we can negotiate other matters with India that are much more significant to the ecnomy of the country…like the water supply etc.

    Given the current conditions, the Kashmiris are much better off with India which is a more peaceful, tolerant and compassionate nation.

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  • observer
    Nov 29, 2011 - 10:57PM

    @Ali Akbar Khan

    It has been projected that Muslims will become a majority in India by 2025. Once that happens, Kashmir will automatically be handed over to Pakistan.

    In fact in that event Pakistan will dissolve in India. Remember, Pakistan was created for the protection of the Muslim ‘minority’.
    As such, No Muslim Minority=No Pakistan.
    Remember to tear up your Green Passport ion 2025.

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  • observer
    Nov 29, 2011 - 11:16PM

    @M Yusuf Buch

    The option of going with either India or Pakistan or alone was not given to the Vale of Kashmir, but to the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir, which at the material time included the areas illegally separated as GB and Northern Areas.Since the Vale of Kashmir alone is not in dispute, so a solution for the Vale of Kashmir only is an absolute no no.

    Now coming to the settlement of the dispute in its entirety, we need to bear in mind that the UN talks of restoration of status quo as on 1947 as a prerequisite of plebiscite. Since Pakistan has irretrievably altered that by ceding territory to China and as the residents of the Kashmir valley have also vitiated the status quo by completely eliminating the Kashmiri Pundits (ethnic cleansing in action), any UN sponsored resolution is not feasible.

    So a short answer to your question is-No, not while Pakistan is in illegal possession of Kashmiri territory in violation of the UN Resolutions.

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  • hedgefunder
    Nov 29, 2011 - 11:56PM

    Kashmir belongs to Pakistan, seriously!

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  • PoorPeace!
    Nov 30, 2011 - 12:19AM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    Dear child you are always living in past. Why is that so? Is it bcoz your present is ruined and future bleak?

    You pick up one incident that happened almost 20 years back to claim something so irrelevant that it sounds foolish.

    Google is believed all over the world (except of course Pakistan :-) ) bcoz its very objective in its results and doesn’t give its opinion on the subject matter.

    It forces me to think how empty life you have that you get time to keep searching on all these and twist it to fit your twisted fantasies.

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  • Nov 30, 2011 - 12:54AM

    @Sunjay
    Nice story man but that pundit is sheikh now so kasmir belong to whom???
    @Observer
    i wish that happend soon we dont mind hhahahahhahaha

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  • Nov 30, 2011 - 12:57AM

    @Sunjay
    One time my jewsh friend told me i wish Moses had lived in saudi arabia area so we had
    have all the oil of that area u know what i told him its very simple accept islam thats all
    yours,…….

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  • Kulkarni
    Nov 30, 2011 - 2:18AM

    We know very well the reaction in India when Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan suggested that we have a plebiscite in Kashmir.

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  • Khuram
    Nov 30, 2011 - 2:54AM

    @ M Yusuf Buch: Sir I read and reread your article more than a few times with a hope to find something new, no offense there is absolutely nothing of any substance in it only echoes the same song and dance, that we often hear from people who are incapable to see beyond the edge of their nose. You have a good command of language, but unfortunately no sense and knowledge of history and the events that shape it. Sir if I could remind you I come from armed forces background and my family has made more than its share of sacrifices in 1947-48 and again in 1965. I have been saying it all along that we need to change our wrongly focused mind set and the only solution if there is one lies in converting the Line of Control with minor adjustments into an IB. The mill stone of Kashmir which in shortsightedness we willingly carry around our necks has done enormous damage to each and every component of my nation which you have failed to recognize and mention. I can go on and on but before closing off I would like to say we as a nation do badly need a reality check on our weaknesses and strengths and also learn to check our emotions with reasoning and logic. Sixty-four years of Blusters and Quixotic day dreaming have been bad for our health.Recommend

  • Jamil Ahmed
    Nov 30, 2011 - 7:45AM

    Very well written article by Yususf Buch. Kashmiris don’t want to live with India. World community doesn’t recognize Indian occupation of Kashmir. Pakistani people will not give up Kashmir. Sooner or later United States will leave Afghanistan. Then what India will do without the American and the Zionist support?

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  • Amit
    Nov 30, 2011 - 10:47AM

    @G. Din:

    Those persons having scant knowledge of events of 1947 in J&K will talk like this, if as you say Mr Kak was so bent on being independent what preparations he had made to defend his in-dream independent J&K from the onslaught of Maj Gen Akbar Khans Operation Gulmarg of kabaili invasion by pakistani regulars & irregulars? In this type situation why and could J&K remain independent is only a fool’s idea

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  • Afghan
    Nov 30, 2011 - 12:12PM

    @ Jamil Ahmed – what does American or “Zionist” support have to do with Indian Kashmir? Last time I checked India beat your sorry country in 4 wars that your country provoked without any foreign support. India’s economy is booming, yours is not. Pakistan is the one dependent on American Aid, not India. What are you going to do? Beat your chest? Talk a big game? When America leaves Afghanistan, Pakistan becomes totally irrelevant to the world.

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  • observer
    Nov 30, 2011 - 2:20PM

    @M Yusuf Buch

    The former is an entity, known as the Vale of Kashmir or the Kashmir Valley and by its own inhabitants as ‘Kasheer’, which has sustained an independent existence and settled continuity over centuries and whose individuality, as defined by its terrain, its customs, its language, its literature and its memory, has been historically established and recognised.

    So right.
    And through the ‘centuries of existence’ the inhabitants called its cities Srinagar and Anantnag and not Islamabad and Muzaffarabad. And the ‘historical memory’ is narrated in a tome called RajTarangini and is written in Sanskrit.
    And in this backdrop you can judge whether the Vale had an ‘independent’ existence or was it a part of a larger whole.

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  • Nov 30, 2011 - 4:38PM

    Why are everyone debating this issue even?

    The Plebiscite can only be held, according to the UN Committee guidelines, if Pakistan withdraws first. Since, there is no chance of this happening and no chance of China giving back the Territory, this CANNOT be implemented.

    Even Islamists in Pakistan take out big rallies, hurl stones, burn flags, kill people. But, come Elections they dont win 10% of the seats in Pakistan. Same with Kashmir. Hurriat till date has not dared to contest elections because of this precise reason.

    So, let us not confuse here what popular opinion in a Democracy is: It is got through elections. And, people have elected NATIONAL Conference of J&K, the emphasis being on the word National. Remember, 80% of the people participated in the recent Panchayat elections, so you cant even say this doesn’t represent majority opinion.

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  • K B Kale
    Nov 30, 2011 - 5:32PM

    The learned author Mr M Yusuf Buch forgets that the choices given to Kashmiris, like they were given to all other princely states, were to either join India or Pakistan. No third choice was given. So the so-called “Azadi” is out of bounds.
    India can agree to a plebiscite if the pre-condition of the UN Resolution viz. withdrawal of all forces-regular or so-called tribals- are withdrawn. If Pakistan had done this, plebiscite would have been taken decades ago. Now a new complication has made it more difficult, rather impossible, to hold as almost all Hindus have been forcibly evicted from their houses.
    I recommend that the author studies the Chatham House report. It can be downloaded from this link: http://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/papers/view/109338
    It concludes that Kashmiri people on both sides of the LoC are not in favour of joining Pakistan. And who can blame them? Who, in the right frame of mind, would like to join Pakistan?
    Actually, Kashmir is already a non-issue. In their heart of hearts, leaders of both the countries wish to leave this issue on the back-burner and engage & compete with each other in all other fields except battlefields.
    I hope Pakistanis would concentrate their energies on matters like economic issues like business, trade etc.

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  • G. Din
    Nov 30, 2011 - 6:38PM

    @BruteForce:
    “And, people have elected NATIONAL Conference of J&K, the emphasis being on the word National.”
    A little piece of trivia here! National Conference, when it was started by Sheikh Abdullah, was actually named “Muslim Conference”. Even though, Kashmir was a Muslim majority area even then, he soon realized that with that name and the implicit agenda he could not go far and he had to change to the inclusive name “National Conference” throwing open its doors to Kashmiri Pundits. He along with his successors and the people of Kashmir , for obvious reasons, probably never regretted that decision since! It must have been especially appreciated by the Kashmiri Pundits when marauding hordes sent by Pakistan had reached the outskirts of Srinagar as they must have been preparing for imminent death during those days. The Indian help arrived in nail-biting nick of time as it were.

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  • Tony Singh
    Nov 30, 2011 - 7:53PM

    @Jamil Ahmed
    “Sooner or later United States will leave Afghanistan. Then what India will do without the American and the Zionist support“:
    Oh boy read history properly. There were no Americans supporting India in1965 (oeration Gibralter) which was taken care by Indians (Asli Jawab). Then no American support to India in 1971 and Kargil. In1965 and 71 they supported Pakistan. You should think now that Pak relations with US has hit a new low, how will it survive, let alone annex Kashmir. What you are counting on? The Chinese?

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  • Nov 30, 2011 - 8:09PM

    @G. Din:

    Absolutely correct. I did know this, though. A very nice piece of History.

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  • You Said It
    Dec 1, 2011 - 1:16AM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    One time my jewsh friend told me i wish Moses had lived in saudi arabia area so we had
    have all the oil of that area u know what i told him its very simple accept islam thats all
    yours,…….

    I doubt you would ever make friends with a jew given the hate you spew here. Even if it were so, Pakistanis accept Islam but are still treated like dirt in Saudi Arabia — so even that part of your argument is false.

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  • G. Din
    Dec 1, 2011 - 2:12AM

    @Anjum:
    “in future when Pak get on her feets the mulims majority of Kashmir will come back home. Inshallah. “
    Any one in Kashmir (or India, for that matter) who wants to “come back home” to Pakistan doesn’t have to wait till “Pak get on her feets”. They may “come back home” NOW. If it is a question of expenses for a one-way ticket for them, it should not be too difficult for us to arrange it. We are all interested in their peace of mind. Before they embark for their dreamland, they ought to know that you have not been able, or willing, to let your own Pakistani citizens, languishing in Bangla Deshi camps for the last 40 years “come back home” even though Agha Khan offered to foot the bill. For once, keep your promises. We know you never make those promises to keep them but hey, I said, “for once”, didn’t I?
    @Tony Singh:
    “…(oeration Gibralter) which was taken care by Indians (Asli Jawab). “
    Not to correct you but the place is called “Assal Uttar” which, of course, translates as you have indicated. If I am not wrong that is also known as the “graveyard of Pattons (tanks)”. After the conflict, US sent a special inquiry commission to investigate how could so many of their state-of-the-art tanks been captured without firing a shot? Of course, the problem was not the tanks but those Pakistani operators did not know how to operate such a sophisticated piece of armament.

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  • Arjun
    Dec 1, 2011 - 8:15AM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    The same applies to islam which came from Arabia to India buddy. Today British culture is part of India just as Mughal culture. India is not islamic like Pakistan.Islam is just one part of India.Recommend

  • K B Kale
    Dec 1, 2011 - 8:34AM

    Mr Buch, I request you to please read the 39-page Chatham House Report titled “Kashmir: Paths to Peace”. It tells how the option of merger with Pakistan is no more popular with the Kashmiris.
    So now Pakistan alos supports “Free Kashmir”. No more Pakistani Kashmir! And this is because if you won’t get it, you won’t allow Kashmiris to remain in India & live happily like the rest of us. Please think…..!
    If Pakistan, on its own, holds a plebiscite in the part of Kashmir we call as Pak-occupied Kashmir & you (erroneously) call as “Azad Kashmir”, the results may shock every one. If Pakistan is so confident, why can’t it hold such a plebiscite under proper International supervision.
    It will put enormous pressure on India to follow suit.

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  • edgarm
    Dec 1, 2011 - 9:48AM

    what about self determination for the poor oppressed people of Baluchistan.

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  • Amit
    Dec 1, 2011 - 10:48AM

    @Abdul Majid Zargar:

    And have you ever counted how many Hindus were killed in POK in 1947 & why & how POK is 100% muslim today, any idea about that part of untold history to you?

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  • edgarm
    Dec 1, 2011 - 11:30AM

    Unfortunately the Kashmir conflict is only in the minds of the Paksitanis. For most Indians the matter is settled as it stands today.

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  • Blas famous
    Dec 1, 2011 - 2:35PM

    @Abdul Majid Zargar: Interesting figures, please provide the source. And stop quoting numbers from your personal diary of imagination.

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  • rafi bukhARI
    Dec 9, 2011 - 8:27PM

    kashmir issue will be resolved

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