India, Pakistan and Kashmir

Import from 26 July 2008 English:

Import from 26 July 2008 English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pakistan, A Hard Country by Anatol Lieven is an excellent introduction to the subject, and I recommend it highly. But no one book is adequate to explain the complexities of the Indian subcontinent, so don’t stop there.

Some experts believe that the border between India and Pakistan is the most dangerous place on the planet because of the dispute over Kashmir where both sides have nuclear weapons. Since the partition in 1947, the question of who owns Kashmir has been an intractable one and three wars have already been fought over the question. I cannot offer a step-by-step solution, but I do think that the ultimate solution or goal must be reunification of Pakistan and India, undoing the partition, and subsuming the Kashmir question. If Pakistan and India are reunited in one country, the ownership of Kashmir becomes a moot question.

Bangladesh is not part of the Kashmir problem, but I believe that it too should reunite with India to form one nation on the Indian subcontinent, not two or three as exist now. With global warming raising ocean levels during the present century, I believe that Bangladesh will be better able to cope with flooding from the Bay of Bengal as part of India than it would by itself. The victims of flooding in Bangladesh will need somewhere to go, and Bengal seems to be the most logical place.

I am not suggesting that the process of undoing partition and reunification will be easy, but I am suggesting that it is the only viable long-term goal.