India-Pakistan Relations Precarious; There is Just No Solution to Kashmir Issue: Natwar Singh

Friendship is not realistic because if we really become very close friends, there will be question mark on the existence of the country.

India and Pakistan’s future lies in the past and there is no solution to the Kashmir dispute – believes former External Affairs Minister – K. Natwar Singh. He said India made a fundamental mistake by going to the United Nations on the Kashmir issue and asserted there is no solution to Kashmir ‘as everything has been tried’.

Singh said former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was pushed into it by the then Governor General Mountbatten. “We went to the UN under Chapter 6, which is on disputes. We should have gone under Chapter 7 which is on aggression.” Various media reports highlight that Nehru had argued that Kashmir was connected with international, military and others issues which are beyond the competence of the States Ministry as such.

Moreover, Singh said that every Indian Prime Minister and Former Minister think they can resolve the Kashmir issue and smooth over relations with Pakistan but nothing as such has been happening.

There is No Solution for Kashmir, Everything Has Been Tried

“The fact is that there is no solution for Kashmir, everything has been tried. The other fact is that Indo-Pak relations are chronically accident prone. The future of Indo-Pak relations lies in the past. Both the countries carry too much baggage. I don’t see any change in our relationship. It is cheese and chalk as simple as that. It’s a great pity.” Singh said.

The 87-year-old said while Pakistan’s one-point programme is Kashmir, there is ‘Kashmir fatigue’ in the world. “Nothing significant should be expected from meetings between leaders of the two countries.”

Empty Dialogues

There has been no productive or conclusive dialogues between India and Pakistan for years, 10 to be exact. In 2015, the two countries agreed to launch a ‘comprehensive dialogue’ but it never happened because of the terror attack on the Pathankot air base.

Following Prime Minister Imran Khan coming to power in Pakistan, he had written a letter to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking to restart the bilateral talks on key issues ‘challenging the relationship’ including on terrorism and Kashmir. But nothing actuated.

Singh said “what could they talk? You can’t give an inch, they can’t give an inch. You meet and shake hands but there is nothing substantial. As I said, we have all tried. It is not realistic because if we really become very close friends, there will be question mark on the existence of the country.”

In regards to India-Pakistan relations way forward, he said “if Indo-Pak relations genuinely improve, became cordial and friendly, then the people of Pakistan will ask why do we need such a large army? The army is not going to give up. And the retired officers have a foundation — Fauji Foundation — in which all have shares, they have land, property, industry and everything.”

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