04 November 2010

"India and Pakistan: Continued Conflict or Co-operation?" by Stanley Wolpert

Stanley Wolpert provided a fascinating perspective and dispassionate analysis of India’s history in his earlier book “Shameful Flight” (reviewed in this blog).

In this book the author does not disappoint. Some of the insights provided by the author:

One: The distance between Pakistan and India has widened in the last 63 years. India has embraced democracy based on civil liberties and rule of law; a modern education system that produces people of use to the global market; and a strong play in the global market. Pakistan has deteriorated with poor quality politics; poor education and a deteriorating economy.

Two: By denying civil rights and self-governance to its own people, Pakistan has lost moral authority to seek civil rights and self-governance to the people of Kashmir.

Three: India’s failure to provide self-governance to people in Kashmir (with strong presence of its army and significant denial of due processes of law) is an important factor in the alienation of Kashmir’s population.

Four: Prospect for peace would reduce if a Hindu nationalist party gets elected in India. The current Congress Party Administration with its secular credentials offers a better chance for peace. Pakistan must appreciate this. Prospect for peace would reduce if Pakistan becomes a failed state. India must appreciate this.

Five: Given the various entrenched sensitivities, neither country would cede Kashmir to the other; neither would agree to Kashmir being an independent state. The only solution is for the Line of Control to become the international border between India and Pakistan with each keeping the slice of Kashmir it already has/controls; if that border is made irrelevant by free movement of people and products, even better.

Good insight. Good advice.

No comments: