April 2006 News

'India willing to settle Kashmir along LoC'

13 April 2006
The Daily Times
Khalid Hasan

Washington DC: A French academic has said that India is willing to accept the Line of Control, as it stands today, as the permanent dividing line between the two Kashmirs. He also believes that a pragmatic compromise around a soft border is possible. Prof Jean-Luc Racine, senior fellow at the Centre for South Asia Studies with the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris, made these observations in a lecture to students at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, recently. Prof Racine analysed the “ongoing Kashmir dilemma,” while going over the history of the region including the initial partition lines, the ethnic composition and struggle, and contemporary conflicts that have arisen in the area - including the Kargil Operation and the 2001-02 troop build-up on the Line of Control. He elucidated the strategic importance of the region and focused on Kashmir as a “key juncture point” for future Indo-Pakistani dialogue and its development towards a stable relationship. The French academic focused on the key regional parameters that have shaped the ongoing conflict in the Kashmir. He said a “Partition Syndrome” had propagated a legacy of wars and tensions, beginning in 1947 while furthering a culture of mistrust and suspicion between India and Pakistan. Such conflicts included the 1965 Kashmir war, the 1971 Bangladesh war, and the 1989 indigenous Kashmiri uprising against India. After the end of the Cold War, Pakistan engaged in policies of strategic depth towards both Afghanistan and Kashmir. This subsequently led to outsiders and insurgents flooding the region. Prof Racine said since 9-11 and the 2001-02 crisis which led to full mobilisation of Indian troops along the LoC, there had been a shift in the positioning of Indo-Pakistani relations along with broader regional implications. He said he foresees a continual geo-economic shift that will be beneficial for the sub-continent. While India defines itself more as the economic and strategic counter-balancing force to China, evidently with the tentative US-India nuclear deal, there is a clear trend towards normalisation between India and China and the global emergence of these two nations as potential superpowers.


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