Clucking about Kashmir at international fora won’t make a difference.
Pakistan Foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi has been doing the usual circuit in the US during the annual silly season of UN General Assembly meeting. In an address to the Council of Foreign Relations, Mr Qureshi again revived the old chant:
“We call upon the United States particularly, which is pressing so responsibly for peace in the Middle East, to also invest its political capital in trying to help seek an accommodation for Kashmir,” he added.
The foreign minister said, “It has always baffled me that the international community has long recognized that the Palestinian question is the core issue to peace in the Middle East, but does not seem to understand that, similarly, until the status of Jammu and Kashmir is resolved, real peace in South Asia will remain elusive.[SANA]
Of course, this argument — solve Kashmir to remove Pakistan’s neuralgic animosity towards India — is all about somehow drawing in Kashmir and India as a part of the US AfPak strategy, especially now that the next big AfPak review is slated for December. But Mr Qureshi is unlikely to have his way. Even if one were to ignore the recent developments in Asian geopolitics concerning China, which propel India as an indispensable ally of the US in the region, it has been recognised in most circles that Mr Qureshi’s argument is deeply flawed.
The argument, for example, has been demolished by none other than Ms Christine Fair, former Rand Corporation expert on South Asia and currently an assistant professor in security studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
“I don’t believe in the (Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard) Holbrooke crap about you solve Kashmir and you make Pakistan sane. I believe it’s necessary albeit terribly insufficient condition to get Pakistanis to tell the Army to lay off (in its machinations against India) if you resolve the Indo-Pakistani issue. Whether that can ever happen is irrelevant,” she said.[Rediff]
Now Ms Fair, for those who care to remember, is not an India sympathiser. Her remarks at a Foreign Policy Round-table in 2009 have been often quoted — and misquoted — by Pakistani commentators to prove that Indian intelligence agencies are causing all the trouble in Balochistan from the Indian consulates in Afghanistan.
In her essay for the recently released The Bellagio Papers, Ms Fair further explains why Pakistan will not give up its use of militant proxies against India.
…until Pakistan is ready to give up its commitment to instrumentalizing Islam for domestic and external purposes, Pakistan will never be able to resolve its existential and neuralgic issues with India. As neither any durable resolution with India is on the horizon, nor is a preparedness to abandon Islam as an instrument of policy, Pakistan is likely to continue using militant and Islamist groups to manage an array of domestic and external challenges.[link]
This indeed is the real problem which besets any attempts of normalcy in India-Pakistan relations: the deeply-rooted military-jehadi complex in a nuclear Pakistan. Dismantling it is no easy job, and the world — including India — has neither gumption nor the capacity to undertake this challenge.
This theatre of the absurd from Pakistan is thus not going to end soon. Let us learn to live with the clucking of Mr Qureshi, who obviously hasn’t heard of this one from Ayn Rand yet:
You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.