This refers to news item ‘Alam’s release conditional’, (DE, 9 March). Agreement for Alliance apart, the crux is that Jammu-based BJP pushed alliance with a valley-based party that is ideologically poles apart from it. It pushed because it wants Kashmir militancy to come to an end. The fault of BJP is that it thinks Kashmir militancy and Kashmir peace are isolated affairs. Cashing on BJP’s impetuousness, Mufti Sayeed, after his tongue in cheek remarks about Pakistan, now panders to the demands of the separatists and militants short of cessation. This is the first stage of a broad formula with which the two countries are toying on the behest of a super power. Don’t forget that Secretary of State, Kerry was in New Delhi this January ahead of Obama’s visit. Nawaz Sharif sent a message to Obama in New Delhi to persuade Modi for resumption of bilateral talks with Pakistan.
He had been briefed by Kerry on Kashmir. Washington clearly visualizes regional implications of Kashmir defreeze, particularly in the scenario of NATO drawdown in Afghanistan. Also don’t forget that the Indian foreign secretary will be travelling to Islamabad very soon without having elicited any assurance of Pakistan ceasing infiltration and anti-India tirades. Also remember that neither Mufti Sayeed touched on the subject of asking Kashmir militants to lay down arms nor did BJP interlocutors raise the issue. They are buying peace.
Mufti Sayeed’s conviction is that balm has to be applied to wounds. Mascara’s release is the bam. Mufti Sahib is not worried about New Delhi’s reaction to balming; but he closely watches its impact in Washington and Islamabad. Remember that Kashmir issue is an international issue from his point of view, and that is why he demanded resumption of talks with Pakistan. Moreover, he has the mandate of the people of the valley and he has to be responsive to them. It is for the BJP to decide whether peace, howsoever elusive, is worth clinching at the cost of national interests.