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|June 17, 1998||
Pakistan's claim to Kashmir outdated, argues Subramanyam
The Kashmir issue took centrestage, during a discussion in New Delhi, Wednesday, on the fallout of recent nuclear tests in the subcontinent.
Pakistan High Commissioner to India Ashraf Kazi Jehangir called for an early solution to the Kashmir tangle, saying that delaying a resolution could be fraught with danger given the nuclearised environment in the sub-continent.
Defence analyst K Subramanyam, responding to the debate on ''Nuclearised India and Pakistan: what next?'', refuted the Pak envoy's contention, and argued that Kashmir was not a core issue between the two nations. Rather, Subramanyam said, it was actually an offshoot of the 'two-nation' theory, which now stood invalidated.
''Pakistan is not the same as it was prior to 1971," said Subramanyam, referring to the creation of Bangladesh in that year. "And though Pakistan was created on the basis of religion, there are more Muslims in India than in Pakistan,'' he stressed, arguing that given this fact, there was no basis in the argument that Pakistan, as a Muslim nation, should get control of Kashmir with its predominantly Muslim population.
Contradicting the Pakistani envoy's assertion that a solution of the Kashmir issue could resolve other problems between the two neighbouring countries, Subrahmanyam said that in his opinion, discussions could not begin and end with the dividing line.
Jehangir for his part said Islamabad had a different interpretation of bilateralism, as enshrined in the Simla Accord. "You cannot exclusively constrain people to one mode. Kashmir has defied solution in a bilateral mode of context,'' he said.
When Jehangir emphasised the UN resolutions on the issue, both Subramanyam and former foreign secretary J N Dixit felt it was unfair to selectively apply clauses.
Subramanyam further pointed out that before harping on the Simla Accord, Pakistan would do well to remember that clauses 1 and 2 held that Pakistan would have to vacate the portions of Kashmir it currently occupies, hand over control to the government in Srinagar, before a plebiscite could be held.
Had Pakistan thought of whether it was ready to give up its occupied territories, and depend on a favourable outcome from the plebiscite, he asked.
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