April 2005 News

Eventual Kashmir settlement difficult to predict: US expert

28 April 2005
The Daily Times
Staff Report

The Daily Times: The eventual resolution of the Kashmir dispute is unlikely to resemble either a territorial transfer or the present status quo, according to a well-known American South Asia expert.Marvin G Weinbaum of the Middle East Institute told Daily Times in an interview on Thursday that the 'cricket summit', as the Musharraf- Manmohan meeting has come to be known, represents an 'achievement in process and atmospherics over an advance in substance.' He felt that it is 'probably just as well, because the tough bilateral issues between Pakistan and India, most notably respecting Kashmir, are 'clearly not ripe for serious negotiations, much less a final status solution.' Weinbaum said, 'If a mutually satisfactory outcome for Kashmir is possible, it must emerge organically in a new relationship between the two countries based on addressing their real national interests along with those of all Kashmiris. Success is likely to come with steps that gradually and carefully create a new chemistry whose ingredients are as yet unclear. But the New Delhi summit conceivably reveals the outlines of a resolution of the Kashmir dispute that is unlikely to resemble either a territorial transfer or the unsatisfactory status quo.' According to Weinbaum, 'To define a favourable outcome in Kashmir requires that Pakistan and India also transcend those broader issues that divide them and in the process expand their constituencies that favour cooperation and peace. Cricket diplomacy and other leadership exchanges that contribute to lowering suspicions and help bring tangible material improvement in people's lives can strengthen leaders in Pakistan and India in their determination and capacity to marginalise those elements in both countries that have for so long thrived on the Kashmir dispute in pursuit of their own agendas.'


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