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J&K solution: Pak PM Khan doesn't know what he says
Modi unlikely to follow Vajpayee
12/6/2018 11:13:46 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, Dec 6: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan other day asserted that Islamabad was looking at two or three different options to resolve the Kashmir issue, which, according to him, could be settled only through dialogue in a phased manner.
Khan made these assertions during an interaction with a group of Pakistani TV anchors. At the same time, he refused to go into specifics of the options being considered by Islamabad to resolve the 71-year-old issue that has strained relations between the two neighbours.
He only said: "Pakistan is looking at 'two or three solutions' to the Kashmir issue that can be implemented in a 'gradual way or in phases, but I can't speak about them in public till the dialogue (with India) starts".
"There are two ways for India and Pakistan to settle their issues - either dialogue or war. It is unimaginable for two nuclear-armed countries to go to war because it will have unintended consequences," Khan also said, adding that "once it begins, war doesn't remain in your control" and that "neither they nor us can win a proxy war".
Khan didn't stop just here. He gave Pakistani media to understand that had AB Vajpayee won the 2004 general elections, he and Pakistan would have resolved the issue. He also asserted that former Foreign Minister in the Congress-led UPA Government Natwar Singh had also expressed identical views.
"I met former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former foreign minister Natwar Singh during a visit to New Delhi after the Bharatiya Janata Party lost in the 2004 general elections and they had told him that the two countries had come 'very close to a settlement on Kashmir' during Pervez Musharraf's regime," he said. "This means there is a solution. It can't be discussed openly because there are so many vested interests which will scuttle things," he said, and added that "Vajpayee told me if the BJP hadn't lost the election, they would have settled the issue."
It bears recalling that then Foreign Minister Natwar Singh had told BBC in the last week of May 2004 that "India was willing to redraw the political map of India if that could resolve the Kashmir issue". The same month, when Manmohan Singh-led UPA assumed office, then Union Home Minister Shiv Raj Patil had told the sane BBC that "India had decided to reward the moderate militants in Kashmir to resolve the issue".
As for the AB Vajpayee-led NDA Government, its MEA Yaswant Singh had held secret talks with a former Pakistani diplomat Niaz Naik at Colombo and worked out a so-called solution to the J&K issue. The solution was based on the Musharraf's break-India formula: India-Pakistan joint control over J&K, porous borders, demilitarization, division of J&K into 7 zones and so on.
Imran Khan was right when he asserted that had Vajpayee not lost the 2004 general election, the Musharraf's formula would have been implemented. It's no wonder that all in Kashmir, including Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, accuse PM Narendra Modi of deviating from the path charted by late Vajpayee and want him to follow in the foot steps of Vajpayee. This is unlikely to happen. PM Modi feels the nation's pulse. He knows that any dilution of the age-old stand of the nation on J&K would only strengthen fissiparous forces in other parts of the country and the party would also lose. That's the reason the Modi Government has adopted somewhat strong line with the Kashmiri leaders of all hues accusing him of using strong methods to crush the (so-called) resistance movement in the Kashmir Valley.
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