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Kashmir : a different perspective

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Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 23:28:17 +0530

Kashmir is an issue that is becoming very expensive for India to ignore 
. By expensive , I am not talking only about the economics of it . My 
opinion is that people in India want a solution . Obviously , the 
solution has to be satisfactory to India . My view on this is 
unconventional , but completely in line with India's long term interests 

India has been apprehensive about the ' internationalisation of Kashmir 
' ever since Nehru raised it at the United Nations . To an innocent , 
objective observer , the obvious assumption would be that India has 
something to hide . I feel that a free and fair plebiscite should be 
held . Yes , it is quite probable that the Kashmiris would vote against 
us . Let them go . If they hate this country so much and think that 
their lives would be better with Pakistan or as a separate state , let 
them leave . But under firm conditions . They should be clearly told 
that they are not welcome on this side of the border . The entire border 
must tightly sealed and no inter-movement will be tolerated . Absolutely 
, no economic support will be given .

What India does after this is absolutely crucial . The only method to 
discourage further separatist movements is rapid economic growth . If 
the additional funds saved from a significant cut in the defense budget 
( a huge amount ) is efficiently utilised and there is considerable 
progress , this will certainly deter separatists . The same concept 
could be applied to other areas such as Assam , Tripura , etc.

While I admit there could be several flaws in my argument , I feel the 
time has come for us to move from this status quo position . This 
solution is also the most likely to be accepted by all three parties -- 
India , Pakistan and most importantly , the Kashmiris . On the surface , 
this might look like a sell out , but , in a larger perspective , it is 
truly nationalistic .

Vikram Vasu



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