June 2002 News

Kashmir not fit case for mediation: Kissinger

6 June 2002
The Statesman

Washington DC: The Kashmir issue is “unsuitable” for mediation because it’s tied up with Indian and Pakistani perceptions of nationhood, Mr Henry Kissinger has said. As for the current tension on the Indo-Pak border, the former US secretary of state said it called for multilateral diplomacy. “The issue of Kashmir has proved unsuitable for mediation; there is no compromise foreseeable between the clashing passions. Pakistan calls for American mediation to add pressure to its claim for a change in the LoC. India rejects any mediation,” he said in an article in the Washington Post today. The tension along the LoC is a “unique case of crisis calling for a multilateral diplomacy”. But no country – not even the world’s only remaining superpower – is in a position to impose a solution on India and Pakistan, he said. “...The issue of Kashmir has become embedded in the fabric of how the two nations justify their existence. For Pakistan, Kashmir symbolises its claim to governing those parts of the Indian subcontinent where Muslims are in a majority. For India, which has a larger Muslim population... the future of Kashmir is a test of its national cohesion.” Nonetheless, major powers such as Russia and the USA, he said, had no reason to accept “the counsel of despair that the momentum of events is beyond control, especially on an issue where their interests are “so congruent and so engaged.

 

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