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Pakistan...let's consider my solution



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   Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 12:43:53 EST

    I want to make a note that I did not say I wanted to get rid Kashmir 
because it is of less economic significance.  I merely said that even if we 
were to give it up, it wouldn't hurt our economy: one because very less is 
contributed by the region anyway, and our military, intelligence spending 
will be reduced.  
    This is all I'm proposing regarding Kashmir:  We will have to form a 
diplomatic solution with Pakistan.  We will have to sit with the Pakistani 
leaders, and along with a mediator from a neutral country (Sweden?), to come 
up with agreements as to what part of Kashmir they will get, and that they 
will not ask for more. (Much like what the Israelis and the Syrians are 
doing.)
    There will actually be two votes.  Let me explain: the first vote is to 
find out whether the Kashmiri's want to be independent, or join with 
Pakistan; the people in Kashmir will decide this.  Once that has been 
decided, this decision will have to be ratified by the Indian Parliament.  I 
think this will best represent the interest of all citizens of India, through 
their elected representatives.  The argument that pundits are driven out of 
their homes is a very valid one.  But through this ratification process they 
will have a say, and people can have an opportunity to pressure for or 
against.
    Now is this solution pragmatic? I think it is.  I don't think this will 
lead to the Assamese to do the same thing or the Punjabis or any other 
separatist group.  I think they are much weaker than the Paki supported 
Kashmir separatist.  I also disagree to the mere SPECULATION that Pakistan is 
supporting all separatists.
    Kashmir was a disputed area ever since independence; it was even 
discussed during the Paki separation.  So I think this is the best solution.
    Now, what we do if the vote is defeated? What if people want Kashmir to 
stay with India? Well then that decision of democracy at work should be 
respected as well and we are back to square one.  But I think that, 
nevertheless this issue needs to be decided by people and their 
representatives and not just by special interest Hindu supremacist
    


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