January 2008 News

US urged to help settle Kashmir dispute

12 January 2008
The Daily Times

Islamabad: The US should be trying to settle the Kashmir problem and if “mildly favourable” to Pakistan, it would contribute to its stability, suggests a correspondent in the New York Times on Saturday. Philip D Sherman from Bronxville, New York writes that as an alternative to a covert US push into Pakistan with its “great game flavour”, the administration should be trying to settle the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan which, if mildly favorable to Pakistan, would contribute much to the country’s stability. An increasingly unstable, unduly Islamist Pakistan would be far more a problem for India than it is for the US, and the US should at least be trying to encourage enlightened self-interest there, he said. Dumbfounded: Another correspondent, Jeff Siddiqui from Lynnwood, Washington state, expressed dismay at reports that the administration is even thinking of sending troops into Pakistan. He writes, “Even someone with the most basic intelligence and knowledge of Pakistan would tell it that sending troops into Pakistan will only strengthen the forces opposing the US and will destabilise the government of Pakistan, no matter who leads it. I am dumbfounded by the stubborn ability of our administration to make the wrong choices in its policy decisions.” A third letter writer, Bob Jack from Las Vegas, argues that the extension of US and NATO military operations into Pakistan in pursuit of Al Qaeda and the Taliban is nothing more than the normal prosecution of the war on terrorism that began in Afghanistan. He writes, “We should move rapidly to engage the enemy, and destroy him and his bases. We have pampered the Pakistanis far too long, and need to move forward with attacks on enemy positions in Pakistan, and secure the nuclear arsenal that belongs to the Pakistanis. We are engaged in an international conflict with radical Islamic jihad that we must win in order to survive as a nation. As we know, this enemy respects no national boundaries, and we cannot afford to suffer its survival, therefore, we must also find every means possible to hunt it down and destroy it wherever it exists.”

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