Kashmiris Should Be Treated Like Citizens
I have been surprised by the developments in Kashmir. How did it start? How did it escalate? How did it get so out of hand? This has been unfortunate.
Where does Kashmir belong, in India or Pakistan, is a stupid question in this day and age. Kashmir belongs in a democracy, that is where Kashmir belongs. If Pakistan is a democracy, Kashmir belongs in Pakistan. If India is a democracy, Kashmir belongs in India. And if both India and Pakistan are democracies it is not a problem that half of Kashmir is in India and half is in Pakistan. As long as democracy can be taken to every Kashmiri, it is okay for Kashmir to be in two countries.
The Madhesh of Nepal was 100% a part of India during the Mughal era. But today Madhesh, that looks exactly like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, is in Nepal, and there is an open border. That should be the model not only for all of South Asia but for the whole world ultimately. The Nepal India border is the most cutting edge political border in the world.
The Indian government's number one responsibility is to treat all Kashmiris like citizens in a democracy. Kashmir is not Gaza, Kashmir is not the West Bank.
The solution is for both India and Pakistan to come around to accepting the Line Of Control as the final border. The fiction that some day all of Kashmir will be in India or in Pakistan is hurting both countries. So much political capital is being wasted in a stupid fight.
India should bring normalcy for its Kashmiri citizens. Pakistan should make the attempt to become a full democracy where the army and the intelligence agency are 100% under the democratically elected parliament.
Then the two countries should move towards accepting the Line Of Control as the final border. That also is the best thing for India and China in places like Arunachal Pradesh.
Trade is the name of the game.