October 28, 2004


Resolving Kashmir with a Musharraf model: Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf's proposed Kashmir plan is receiving a lot of attention on both sides of the contentious Line of Control, including from worried Indians. Not only has Musharraf earned some brownie points in the international community, but he has forced New Delhi to do some thinking "outside the box". (Sultan Shahin, 10/29/04, Asia Times)

The Musharraf model has been almost universally denounced by the secular as well as fundamentalist opposition in Pakistan, viewed as a U-turn on Kashmir comparable to Pakistan's U-turn on the Taliban in Afghanistan following September 11, 2001. It has, however, received a cautious welcome from those among the separatist groups in the valley of Kashmir who favor independence. Some top functionaries of the Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference, a coalition of several separatist organizations, described it as "path-breaking" and "positive". They are reported to have had an inkling of the formula being presented beforehand, as Pakistan's foreign minister had sought their opinion on the issue in his meetings with them during his trips to New Delhi for talks with the Indian officials in the last months. This also means that the proposals are well-thought out and well-deliberated in the Pakistani establishment as well as among the Kashmiri separatists backed by Pakistan.

What makes the Musharraf model so revolutionary? Essentially, the idea that all parts of the original pre-1947 Jammu and Kashmir state, including those at the moment held by Pakistan, should be demilitarized and their status changed in such a way that they do not belong to either India or Pakistan. Thus Pakistan has finally accepted the independence option for Kashmir without actually putting it in those terms.

This is just the first of the territories that will eventually be independent of India--they may as well accept it and get the ball rolling.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 28, 2004 9:06 AM

Both India and Indonesia are empires built upon the consolidations of their colonial masters, with bits added later (like Goa, Sikkim and West Irian) the colonialists left out of the original.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 28, 2004 1:00 PM

If India is as important as you claim regularly, why are you so eager to rip it to pieces?

Posted by: brian at October 28, 2004 2:08 PM

I understand that Kashmir is a beautiful part of the world, or would be absent the violence. But, does it have any real value to India beyond the psychological?

I suppose it would be like a large company spinning off its less profitable subs.

Posted by: AML at October 28, 2004 2:11 PM

There is a large Hindu population in Kashmir, who have lived there for centuries. For example, Nehru was a Kashmiri Hindu.

These folks would face a fate at least as bad as the Croatian Serbs who were butchered and/or expelled from Krajina and Eastern Slavonia.

OJ, who else leaves India after Kashmir? Perhaps Assam, but so what. Bharat is basically a unified Hindu state.

Posted by: Bart at October 28, 2004 2:49 PM


It's too big. Smaller states have huge advantages.

Posted by: oj at October 28, 2004 3:33 PM