Monday, July 19, 2010

Losing Kashmir

By Robert Grenier,, July 16, 2010

Since 9/11 the US has focused on terrorism but has not promoted more legitimate means for people to address their grievances [AFP]

As we await what many hope will be the start, on July 15, of a renewed India-Pakistan peace process, or “Composite Dialogue” – derailed since the Mumbai attacks of November 2008 – I am reminded of two past conversations.

The first occurred in 1999.

In a meeting with a senior Pakistani official, the topic came around, as it usually did, to US pressure on Pakistan to crack down on militants crossing the Line of Control to engage in “terrorist acts” in Indian administered Kashmir.

Such infiltration, of course, was widely believed to be facilitated by Pakistan’s infamous intelligence service, the ISI.

Dropping for a moment the usual protests of innocence, the official challenged me to distinguish between a “terrorist” and a “freedom fighter”.

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