Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai has revealed the real intention of his country, which is to make Pakistan agree to a permanent division of Kashmir on the present lines, and to use American pressure for this. In an interview to the Wall Street Journal, Mr Mathai said that Pakistan seemed serious in recent times over relations with India, but he also expressed ire over Hafiz Saeed still being free and noted that the USA too had placed a bounty of $10 million on him. Without mentioning evidentiary support, he linked the Jamaatud Dawa chief to the Mumbai massacres. Mr Mathai showed resentment that Pakistan was not treating India as a great power, and not overriding its laws in a hurry to do India’s bidding. In the interview, he seemed to be holding out the prospect of a dialogue on Kashmir if Pakistan carried on being serious about an improvement in ties. However, he also let slip the goal of converting the present Line of Control into an international border, but open for trade and people.

There are a number of problems with this goal. First, it violates India’s own agreement to the UN Security Council resolutions on the subject. Second, this also ignores the struggle for self-determination that the Kashmiri people are waging, and which is to obtain that right of self-determination originally denied to them. Third, it does not recognize the original reason India accepted the UN resolutions, that they presented the only route to a stable solution. India’s failure to recognise that converting the LoC into the border will not solve the problem, which Mr Mathai expressed, is the reason it does not opt for the UN-sponsored plebiscite which is the only workable solution of the dispute.

Pakistan in principle has no problems with talking to India. What it objects to, and rightly so, is the attempt to convert that dialogue into a one-sided monologue, in which only Indian wishes are met, where Pakistan is only credited with seriousness of intent if it accepts measures which further India’s interests at the cost of Pakistan’s, like its recent grant of Most Favoured Nation status to India, which may well lead to the destruction of Pakistani commerce and industry. In the same way, Mr Mathai’s remarks show what India hopes to get out of the process. This is unacceptable to Pakistan and Kashmir and any solution without the acceptance of Pakistan and Kashmir and their people is an empty wish, which the Indians may dream, but which will never see reality.