Category Archives: Kashmir

No Time for War: A Call for Peace Amid Rising Nuclear Tensions between Pakistan and India

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: The WIP

Peace activists in Pakistan and India are attempting desperately to be heard above the din raised by warmongers – elitist by all counts and claiming to be patriotic as well – in the wake of the Mumbai carnage. Jingoism is in the air – be it from so-called nationalists (posing as analysts on television) advocating a nuclear attack for the defense of their country, or the man on the street. Be they from Pakistan or India, they speak of war with great abandon as if it is child’s play. For the electronic media it is a race for sensationalism.

• Peaceful protests are being held throughout Pakistan in what many are calling the most significant mobilization for peace in the country's recent history. Photograph by Naeem Sadiq. •


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Another formula on Kashmir

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

KASHMIR is again in the news, this time not be cause of an upsurge in violence. Once more there is talk of peace. Another plan has been floated by Pakistan.

In an interview to an Indian television channel last week, President Pervez Musharraf proposed a four-point formula that envisaged the free movement of people within the state with unchanged borders, self-governance or autonomy to the state, a phased withdrawal of troops and a joint supervision mechanism with the participation of India, Pakistan and the Kashmiris.
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APHC’s message to Pakistan

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leaders’ visit to Pakistan came as a watershed in the protracted dispute between India and Pakistan on the status of Kashmir. In the bonhomie and euphoria that met the APHC leaders in every city they visited, some basic implications of the political strategy adopted by the Hurriyat leaders and the Pakistan government’s handling of the situation have been missed.

They indicate U-turns by Pakistan and the moderate Kashmiri leadership and a partial turn around by India. What is most important is that this turnabout is the best thing to have happened to South Asia — termed as the most dangerous spot in the world by President Clinton in 2000 — as it can now at long last hope for peace.

Taking a look at Pakistan we find that it had since independence pinned its entire foreign policy on Kashmir. We don’t have to argue whether it was the dispute on Kashmir which vitiated Pakistan’s relations with India or realpolitik compulsions of the two governments that pre-empted a solution to Kashmir. Whichever it may be, the fact is that India and Pakistan remained locked in a vicious dispute that cast its shadow on all other aspects of their bilateral relations.
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Significance of the bus accord

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

The reaction to the ‘bus accord’ signed by the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan last week in Islamabad has been a mixed one. While those who staunchly support peace between the two countries have welcomed it as a fillip to the composite dialogue which can now be expected to move forward.

Others who have adopted a hard line on Kashmir feel that the decision to link Muzaffarabad and Srinagar by a bus service will be hurtful to their cause. For instance, the BJP, which started the dialogue with Pakistan and is now in the opposition, feels that the bus will allow terrorists to infiltrate the Valley.
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What next in Kashmir?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

AS India-Pakistan relations, which move in a cyclic pattern, enter one of their friendlier phases, it is heartening to hear voices of sanity in support of peace and normalization between the two countries. It seems that war fatigue has set in and the “voices of sanity” are getting louder.
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