India calls for ‘creative solutions’ to Kashmir issue

* Nirupama Rao says India wants stable, progressing Pakistan
* Pakistan must stop entry of radical ideology into religion

By Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: India has called for using “creative solutions” to settle the Kashmir problem, at the same time urging Pakistan to “shed its insecurity” and to stop looking at “India’s growth in subjective or negative terms”.

Addressing a closed-door session on Afghanistan-India-Pakistan trialogue organised by the Delhi Policy Group (DPG), Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao admitted that progress had been made on the Kashmir issue on the basis of an understanding that “boundaries cannot be redrawn”.

According to the text of Rao’s speech that was made public, she said that the idea behind the understanding was to make boundaries irrelevant and to enable people on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) to move freely and trade with each other.

Rao stressed that India wanted a stable, peaceful and economically progressing Pakistan. “Secondly, we sincerely desire peace with Pakistan. Thirdly, we have to learn to live with the asymmetries in our sizes and capabilities. Pakistan should shed its insecurity on these counts,” she said.

She asked Pakistan to prevent the entry of radical ideology into the domain of religion, saying it could have grave implications for peace and security between India and Pakistan, and also make differences over Kashmir more pronounced.

“As an intrinsic part of the long-term vision of relations it desires with India, Pakistan must act effectively against those terrorist groups that seek to nullify and to destroy the prospects of peace and cooperation between our two countries,” Rao said.

She said the road ahead was a long and winding one. “But as fellow travellers, India and Pakistan must tackle the challenges of this rocky road with the belief that a secure and prosperous future vitally and crucially depends on our ability to do so,” she said.

“There is a trust deficit (between the two countries). Some also refer to a vision deficit, especially since India has over the years sought to spell out a broader vision of our relationship while a similar definition has not been easy for Pakistan to enunciate,” she said.

“We want to see a peaceful, stable, energy-secure and prosperous Pakistan that acts as a bulwark against terrorism for its own sake and for the good of the region. Asymmetries in size and development, should not prevent us from working together, and realising a vision of friendly bilateral relations,” she said.

Water issue: Noting that in recent years, unprecedented focus on the “water issue” between the two countries has also been witnessed, Rao said “propaganda and baseless charges about water theft and illegal construction of dams have been spread and poisoned the atmosphere of our relations further”.

She claimed that “the myth” of water theft did not stand the test of rational scrutiny or reason. “India has never sought to deny Pakistan its fair and stipulated share of the Indus waters,” she said.


Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: