Time has come to resolve decades-old Kashmir dispute: New York Times

“A solution to a conflict that touches on so many religious and nationalist nerves must ultimately come from within, through talks among India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir,”

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Washington, May 21 (KNB): The growing danger of the Kashmir conflict demands all parties to continue efforts to resolve the decades-old dispute, said the Editorial Board of the New York Times in an opinion article as Indian Prime Minister Narandera Modi was met with strike when he visited the region to inaugurate a controversial hydropower project.
A complete shutdown was observed on the call of Kashmiri leaders as Modi inaugurated the controversial Kishanganga, a hydropower project that Pakistan has challenged and is seeking intervention of the World Bank, which is a guarantor of the Indus Water Treaty that governs the distribution of waters between Pakistan and India.



According to a NYT report, traffic was sparse and Indian authorities arrested dozens of Kashmiri Muslims overnight and put Kashmiri leaders under house arrest to stop them from taking part in a planned march against Modi, in spite of a so-called ceasefire that was announced for the holy month of Ramadan.
The ceasefire was sought by the Chief Minister of Indian held valley, Mehbooba Mufti who, the editorial said, found herself increasingly isolated since her political alliance with the ruling BJP which has failed to stem violence in the region.
In an opinion article published this week, the NYT Editorial Board said that the struggle over Kashmir seems to have deepened, and border skirmishes between troops along the Line of Control were common.
“With India and Pakistan both in possession of nuclear arms, former President Bill Clinton once called the border” the most dangerous place in the world,” the editorial recalled, in an obvious reference to the concern that is often expressed by analysts and military experts to highlight the need for resolving the dispute.
According to a new police report as cited by the NYT article, the Indian offensives and oppression against the freedom fighters this year has doubled the number of local recruits.



“It was an age-old story: Heavy-handed tactics may hold territory, but they lose the population,” the NYT observed.
The editorial board noted that former President Barack Obama abandoned his mediation efforts to resolve the Kashmir dispute after stiff Indian opposition.
“A solution to a conflict that touches on so many religious and nationalist nerves must ultimately come from within, through talks among India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir,” the NYT said, adding that the obvious and growing danger of the Kashmir conflict demands “trying again and again, however elusive the goal.” (KNB/AP)