Possible reasons for his recent visit to Kashmir
HORIZONS BY INAM UL REHMAN
Reacting to the visit of the US senator and the former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, the Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management, New Delhi, Dr Ajai Sahni, almost played it down as a non-event. “I don’t think there is any message in the McCain’s visit for Kashmir. He does not represent any high powered group in America. We can say it is just an independent American assessment of the situation” (Valley visit evokes mixed views, GK Aug 19). Now Dr Sahni cannot be faulted for that. For he knows if the issue remains away from media glare chances of resolution are quite bright. McCain’s visit can be ascribed to two reasons.
One is to reduce the concentration of soldiers in Kashmir. US doesn’t want to leave a tattered Afghanistan for Islamists. Islamists are looking for one Ummah—which is stateless. If Afghanistan goes in that way, and the chances of that are quite evident with Pakistan caught in its own quagmire, Islamists will be encouraged to enforce their model of stateless Ummah where Muslims can go and come without any passport and national identities. After the withdrawal of Russia from Afghanistan, Pakistan controlled the Afghan warlords within a zone. This time Pakistan is not in that situation. The visit of high level dignitaries may have been in that context to apprise Indian troops the danger of Afghan Islamists if Pakistan is not stabilized.
“We are committed to the long-term success of Afghanistan and Pakistan as stable states,” wrote McCain in the Foreign Policy magazine around twenty months ago, “that can govern themselves, secure themselves, and sustain their own development. Though the nature of our commitment to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and their region will change over time, our commitment to their success will endure.” (End the War by Winning It, Dec 3, 2009).
Second reason is to see how prepared Indian soldiers are to fight foreigners. In the middle of 1990s when the forces were successful in eliminating number of local militants, the loss was replenished by the constant arrival of the foreign fighters, comprising mostly Afghan and Pakistanis.
The USA for all practical reasons needs Pakistan to stabilise Afghanistan. Pakistan can exert pressure on the Islamists but for that India must assure Pakistan that a political solution with regard to Kashmir is near the corner. We must not lose sight of what Mirza Aslam Beg sums up the whole issue. “If we fail to find a political solution soon enough, peace in South Asia, will remain hostage to Kashmir”.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 2 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 2 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 3 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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