IT took Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour to reveal that India would like a railway link to Central Asia, and onwards to Europe, through Pakistan. However, in the rush to please the USA by cosying up to India, it must not be forgotten that the Kashmir dispute remains unsolved, a fundamental disagreement that prevents Pakistan from believing that India would in any way avoid using such a passage, which by its nature would be across the length of Pakistan, from its usual nefarious purposes. The Minister might belong to the ANP, notoriously a pro-Indian party in the time of its founder Khan Abdul Wali Khan, but he is serving in a PPP-led government. The PPPs founder, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, had vowed a 1000-year war against India over Kashmir, and it is unfortunate if a minister in one of its governments, even if he belonged to a coalition partner, was to display such sentiments even though the matter had not been settled. It in fact warrants investigation whether the ANP itself voluntarily chose the Railways portfolio for itself so that this plan to give India by another means what it has long wanted - passage across Pakistan - could be made successful. It should also be kept in mind that such a plan can only succeed if a railway line was laid across Afghanistan, at present one of the few countries in the world free from this. Considering the difficulties in the way of this, not least the unsettled conditions of that unfortunate country, the plan is unlikely to prove anything but a cheap debating point for India, which will claim that Pakistan agreed to give India a rail link passing through its territory. India wants this not only to service its missions in Afghanistan, whose real purpose is to destabilise Pakistan, but also to show off the example of Pakistan ignoring the core dispute of Kashmir. No government, least of all that is led by Bhuttos PPP, can allow this to take place, and the proposal must be rejected when Mr Bilour brings it before the full cabinet, which he has promised to do.