Rather eerily, Daniel Markey of the Council on Foreign Relations has predicted in a paper titled 'Terrorism and Indo-Pakistani Escalation" that there might be another 'Mumbai-type' attack soon and this, rather than the lingering Kashmir dispute, might cause an Indian attack on Pakistan. Plausible? Perhaps, but most analysts agree that Kashmir remains the nuclear tinderbox. It was this dispute that triggered the past wars in 1948, 1965, 1971 and 1999, besides causing a quasi-war or military standoff (Operation Parakaram) in 2001-2002. So it is only natural that India wants the issue to remain on backburner but Pakistan wants its early resolution. John Thomson, in his article 'Kashmir: Most Dangerous Place in the World' has stated that whether myth or reality, Kashmir is the most dangerous place in the world. He has also given cogent arguments to prove that the Kashmir issue could once again spark another Indo-Pak military confrontation with the concomitant risks of a nuclear war. Most other Western analysts also do not rule out possibility of a nuclear war on Kashmir. Aware of these risks, former President Musharraf made a number of 'out-of-box' proposals to resolve the dispute. Contours of his solution are given in his memoirs In the Line of Fire (pp.302-303). Instead of taking these proposals in true spirit, that these were personal proposals he made on behalf of himself, India portrayed them as Pakistan's capitulation on demand for a plebiscite. Musharraf had to eventually clarify that India should not misconstrue his flexibility. In his interview with Reuters, he said, "India has to be flexible also. I'll be bold in moving forward, but if somebody thinks, I'll be bold to give up, I'm not giving up at all". Musharraf's proposals are, if anything, a regurgitation of former Indian Foreign Secretary Jagat S. Mehta's proposals. Yet, India did not find them palatable enough to come round. The lingering Kashmir issue, the casus belli between the two next-door nuclear neighbours, remains a flashpoint. -DEEBA MALIK, Lahore, January 19