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2019 mandate an opportunity for Modi to resolve Kashmir
7/5/2019 12:23:52 AM
Early Times Report

JAMMU, July 4: After J&K acceded to India on October 26, 1947 as per the Indian Independence Act of 1947 New Delhi lost the opportunity to bury the so-called Kashmir issue before it became extremely complicated. The need of the time was to get the aggression vacated by throwing Pakistani invaders, regular or irregular, out of the state during the 1947-48 Indo-Pak war, but the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru ordered ceasefire. He took the J&K issue to the United Nations. Nehru's action dumbfounded the nation as he enforced a ceasefire at a time when the Indian Armed forces had the Pakistani invaders on the run.
Ever since then, Pakistan has been reciprocating that "favour" by unleashing wars and a low-intensity proxy war that continue to bloody and convulse the state's political scene at regular intervals. In the process, 1000s of our soldiers and civilians have lost their lives in and outside the Kashmir Valley
The role of the governments after Nehru was no different. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi wasted the opportunity India got after its splendid victory in 1971: Creation of Bangladesh out of Pakistan. Instead of dictating terms to the defeated Pakistan, Indira Gandhi returned all the 93,000 Pakistani prisoners of War (POWs) to Pakistan. So much so, she signed the 1972 Shimla agreement - an agreement that her Pakistani counterpart, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, violated again and again and an agreement which made Pakistan a party to the so-called Kashmir dispute.
The role of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh who succeeded him was also disappointing. Both flirted with the canny and undependable Pakistani leadership and both treated the separatists in Kashmir with kid gloves. While Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf could impress Vajpayee with what experts call "platitudes of Kashmiriyat while plotting terror attacks on the Indian Parliament and Akshardham Temple", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, according to keen India-Pakistan watcher, considered Musharraf's "open and porous borders in J&K a grand solution that would put the 'core issue' between the two countries to rest for good".
Paradoxically, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also proved that he was no different from his predecessors, who gave Islamabad "the benefit of the doubt and offered peace". For example, PM Narendra Modi "extended an olive branch to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif - and got Gurdaspur, Pathankot and Uri in return".
It would be no exaggeration to say that PM Modi's Pakistan policy between May 2014 and February 2019 was no different from the policy which Indian Prime Ministers adopted after 1947. "Inviting an ISI team to Pathankot was akin to asking Dawood Ibrahim to help investigate the March 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts that killed 257 people," opine the critics of PM Modi's Pakistan policy. They add that "it was only after the Pulwama massacre of 40 CRPF jawans on February 14, 2019 that PM Modi put into action what he had pledged during his 2014 Prime Ministerial campaign - to let the guns do the talking".
It is difficult to say how PM Modi will devise his Pakistan policy and policy towards J&K in his second term commencing May 30. However, some indication are to the effect that he would not talk to Pakistan until and unless Islamabad destroyed terror training camps on its territory and in PoJK and stopped exporting terror into J&K.
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