Kashmir: three ideas for peace

Pakistan favours an international peace-keeping force, the USA wants to send American and British troops to the frontier and India disagrees with both plans, preferring joint Indian-Pakistani patrols along the frontier to guarantee peace. Meanwhile, western nations are accused of hysteria for ordering their citizens to leave India.

Pakistan has called for a force of international observers to deploy along the frontier between India and Kashmir to report incidents. However, India is against this idea, apparently because of the numerous incidents of collateral damage in Afghanistan. Indian government spokesperson Brajesh Mishra declared that “despite all the western technology, several mistakes were committed in Afghanistan”, while Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nirupama Rao said that India “does not believe in mediation by third parties in Kashmir”.

India favours joint patrols with Pakistani forces, as expressed by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on the last day of his meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Almaty. At the same time, he criticised western nations for their “hysteria” of their reactions to the situation. Both Indian and Pakistani high officials have declared that there will be no war in the region because both sides are committed to peace.

According to the British daily, The Independent, the administration in Washington favours a joint American/British force to patrol the border area. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has recently spoken of an effective force acting along the Line of Control to combat “terrorist infiltration”, while calling on both sides to commit themselves to peace and to issue a joint declaration refusing to deploy nuclear weapons in a first strike.

Whatever the outcome, it is evident that the wheel of diplomacy is turning and with every day that passes, the spectre of war drifts further and further away.


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