Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid unwittingly gave a demonstration of why Indian double talk and duplicity stand in the way of its improving relations with Pakistan, and also shed light on why India is such an obstacle to any solution of the Kashmir issue. During a press interview appearing on Saturday, Mr Khurshid said that India had no preconditions for talks with Pakistan on Kashmir, but that Pakistan had to keep in mind Indian concerns. In short, there were preconditions. All Mr Khurshid’s talk of Indian willingness was based on India’s usual posturing, which involved a continued defiance of its own solemn and freely given commitments to the international community, to which it agreed, which was that there would be a UN-supervised plebiscite to elicit the opinion of the people of Kashmir. This is a solution that India has always tried to avoid so that it could continue its illegal occupation of the state of over six decades. In this, it has not only portrayed itself as the world’s largest democracy, but also has loudly proclaimed its commitment to human rights, in order to curry favour with the West, particularly the USA, to persuade them to support it in its illegal occupation and its defiance of the Kashmiri people.
In this, it meets only two obstacles. First and probably more important, is the resistance of the Kashmiris. That has made it impossible for India to avoid the problem, as it wishes to do. Then comes the moral and diplomatic support by Pakistan of this liberation struggle. This prompts Pakistan to voice in foreign capitals the atrocities being committed in Held Kashmir by the Indian occupation forces. India wants this voice silenced so that it is saved the effort of defending itself and can devote its propaganda machinery to building its false image.
The Pakistan government must show an understanding of what Mr Khurshid is saying, and take appropriate measures. While Pakistan wishes for peace and good neighbourly relations, there is no need for it to go overboard and harm its own national interests, as it has done with its decision to grant India Most Favoured Nation status. While India will try to keep on extracting more concessions, it also wants Pakistan to keep mum over Kashmir. That it will not do, because it will not join India in its injustice, as Mr Khurshid showed it still wants.