Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Intervention and Kashmir

Surely you can't keep out of Kashmir? Don't you know they've both got nukes?

Two rhetorical questions we are bound to hear more of over the next few days/weeks.

But isn't the problem, at least partly, one of intervention?

You see on paper Pakistan doesn't stand a chance. It's north western flank now has an India friendly government (thanks to who?) and the army is less than India's one million troops. Even a nuclear exchange would have more effect on densely populated Pakistan than on its larger neighbour (as one Indian minister chillingly pointed out).

So why does Pakistan think it has a chance? They want the world to make India "see sense". And after all America owes Pakistan big time, bombing of Pakistan would have been several degrees harder without the safe passage through Pakistan. And does one really want to think what the Islamic paranoiacs will make of western support for India?

Would they have seen sense earlier if they were on their own against their stronger neighbour? Perhaps not, although isn't it funny how other countries with border disputes can live in peace for years.

So that's why we should never have got to where we are now, but should we intervene further?

One for the comments box.


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