South Asian Insider
Arun Shourie interview: ‘Focus on what can be done now — to improve governance, the life of people’
Delhi needs to play a more proactive role on the ground. And Kashmiris need to shed fanciful goals like azadi and start preparing a blueprint for the future without the baggage of the past, says Arun Shourie. Delhi needs to play a more proactive role on the ground. And Kashmiris need to shed fanciful goals like azadi and start preparing a blueprint for the future without the baggage of the past. So, we should talk to the Hurriyat, you say… I would go farther. The established political parties as well as the Hurriyat leaders have, in fact, lost ground. New leaders must be emerging among, say, the stone-pelters and among those who are actually taking to the gun. We must locate them and do our best to reach out to them also. Today, they are full of anger. Today they feel they can wrest azadi by the gun. Today, they must be thinking that they just have to take violence to a particular level and Pakistan will rush in and do a Bangladesh. Or that the “Kashmir issue will be internationalised” and the UN or some others will come and complete the job of compelling India. But soon enough they will see — as many like them saw in the wake of Kargil — that Pakistan’s ability to harm India has its limits. Especially so now as support to cross-border terrorism has already earned Pakistan a bad name. Soon many of them will begin to learn how many times some statement by a British Foreign Minister or a US Congressman, some report of a UN body had convinced persons like them that their cause had been taken up by the world and azadi was round the corner. In a word, we must not give up on them. We should talk to everyone, and not make much fuss about talking or not talking. And at all times we must keep in mind the other person’s compulsions.
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