Bradley, a well known Shakespearian critic, has propounded the concept of tragic trait a personality predisposition to explain why the great heroes in Shakespeares tragedies like Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth and King Lear face tragic ends, while the fate is different in comedies such as As you like it. Their heroes prefer 'compromise and as such end up being happy and contended. In other words, it is the attitude which makes the difference. Hamlets 'indecisiveness and oscillating between to be or not to be, Othellos mistrust attributing infidelity to his beloved are the determinants of their tragedies. So is the case with other tragic heroes. Consensus-seeking and making compromises are thus the quintessential values that lend dignity to dialogues, parleys and negotiations. Rigidity and dogmatism lead to fanaticism and fundamentalism. Even good opinions are worth very little unless we hold them in the broad, intelligent and spacious way, said Lord Morley, the author of On Compromise. In this context, Indo-Pak dialogues get derailed due to a chronic Indian disposition - call it tragic flaw - not to compromise on the stand once taken. It is the 'frozen mind syndrome that mars the peace and tranquillity of the subcontinent. India believes that Kashmir is its atoot ang. No further talk is possible. Indeed, talks and dialogues tend to become ritualistic rather than substantive to yield positive results. But it is the who-cares-attitude, of a big bully, which recurrently leads to what a Persian saying depicts: nisha-stand, guftand wa barkhastand (Sat together, talked and dispersed). Recalling the subcontinents history, Quaid-i-Azam initially tried to persuade the Indian leaders of the subcontinent to ensure that the Muslims of India being a very sizeable minority must be given due protection through a firm constitutional commitment that their rights and privileges will not be compromised on the ground of Anglo-Saxon type of democracy, in which the majority opinion prevails. A compromise solution - Cripps-Mission-Plan - was accepted by the Muslim League but the Congress showed the typical adamancy in not accepting it. The Quaid became very weary and sceptic when he found that Gandhi had the tendency to go back on his words on the plea that his inner voice, did not support what he had earlier agreed to. Naturally, the Quaid stated that what good was it to talk to the Congress High Command, when his 'inner voice made him renege his promises, he made. In his extempore address at Patna session of the Muslim League (Dec 26-29, 1938) he came out quite explicitly of what he thought of the Indian Congress: It is a misfortune of our country. Indeed, it is a tragedy that the High Command of the Congress is determined, absolutely determined, to crush all the communities and culture in this country and establish Hindu Raj. They talk of Swaraj, but they mean only Hindu Raj. Therefore, he came to the ultimate truth that Congress leaders cannot be relied upon, as their latent ambitions are different from what they openly profess - a sort of semantic camouflage. What could be a greater historical bluff than what Nehru, after having made a solemn promise to the Kashmiris that they would exercise their right of self-determination as envisaged in the 'partition plan of the subcontinent, went back on his words, paying no heed to the global opinion. Moreover, the British while parting left the issue of Kashmir unresolved, so that that its flicker flame would blow into a savage fire. Nehrus morality is always questionable as he had amorous relations with Edwina - Lord Mountb-attens wife, who played very vicious role by persuading her husband to please Nehru, for whom she had a romantic attachment, to make a last minute change in the Radcliff Award and awarding Gurda-spur to India - a sinister move to allow its forces to enter into Kashmir on the plea of annexion by the Hindu ruler. What is intended to convey here is the perverted sense of morality on the part of Nehru and Mountb-atten, for whom fidelity of his wife was sacrificed for political expediency. This is at the root of the contentious issue of Kashmir, which has eluded peace and prosperity of the region. With Kashmir is linked the issue of water, and one can image the height of Quaid-i-Azams vision, who had termed Kashmir a jugular vein of Pakistan. After the partition, Quaid-i-Azam had hoped that India and Pakistan would live like good neighbours. On August 7, 1948, when he left Delhi for Karachi to lay the foundation of Pakistan, he said: The past must be buried and let us start afresh as two independent sovereign states of Hindustan and Pakistan. I wish Hindustan prosperity and peace. But in contrast, the Hindu leaders thought otherwise. Menon, openly claimed that they had accepted partition on the firm assumption that divide in order to unite, was the ultimate goal. May I ask, how can dialogue bear fruition in this backdrop? Ever since India became USAs strategic partner, it vicariously inhales imperial power and hegemonic ambitions even beyond South Asia. It can fight at two fronts - China as well as Pakistan - as it is loaded with weapons of high sophistication acquired from USA and Israel, besides its traditional supplier, Moscow, as if military power were all that matters. Pakistan knows its options well if war is thrust upon us. In the recent secretary level talks, Pakistans foreign secretary said: Pakistan cannot take any dictation from India So the Indian administration must realise that it can neither afford to derail the talks on the Kashmir issue, nor will the Kashmiris accept anything less than their freedom, for which they have paid a very heavy price. Abraham Lincoln rightly warned: Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves. The writer is secretary general, Friends Foundation.