Need To Move Beyond Kashmir: Sherry Rehman

Need To Move Beyond Kashmir: Sherry Rehman

31 July 2013
The Indian Express
Naveed Iqbal

New Delhi: Calling Kashmir the 'gorilla in the room', Pakistan's former ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman on Wednesday said 'we need to bring Kashmiris in a conversation'. She also said the rise of Hindutva in India was a cause of concern for Pakistan. Addressing students at Jamia Millia Islamia as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series lecture, Rehman said the question being asked in Pakistan today was whether New Delhi is indifferent to peace in the region. 'Kashmir will remain a core concern but we need to move beyond that,' she said. Rehman also spoke of a 'fundamental course correction at the strategic and at the public level'. She said Pakistan wants to move beyond the 'old policy templates' and questioned whether India and Pakistan will replace containment with cooperation. She said both countries need to move beyond 'cold war politics' and 'tired posturing of hyper nationalism'. 'India and Pakistan have a key role in leveraging this moment as we remain the two countries whose conflict overshadows politics, the region's strategic options, trade challenges, the public narratives in both countries and chronology of missed opportunities,' she said. She said one key difference in the Pakistani mood today is that India is no longer seen as Pakistan's principal enemy. 'Do we want to remain the only region in the world today still mired in Cold War politics of sclerotic identities limited to otherising each other as strategically estranged nuclear enemies. Or are we able to move beyond the tired posturing of tired nationalism,' she said.