Yet another “analysis” of the Kashmir situation without even a cursory read of the various issues, arguments and stances involved. Yeah India’s had the army in there for ages now, and that creates huge issues with the local population (anywhere, be it Naxalite dominated areas, the NE, or Kashmir). But the escalation was not a one way street – though surely not the best way to solve it. We’ve also had rather hostile neighbours around there, and the time there was lowered presence of personnel, we had to go to war to reclaim territory, and lost a few hundred brave men in the process. Its also a fact the Kashmir enjoys special powers and an independent constitutional status, something very few countries would’ve permitted within their borders. Kashmir is almost an independent nation within India – and its been a one way street from that point of view. They’ve even managed a couple of really free polls and have had a shot at improving their situation with Kashmiris at the helm – how long can they keep on passing the buck to “New Delhi” ? Bihar has been in a worse spot, gets lesser from the Centre, yet cribs lesser, and is not clamouring for independence. If they could not make it work, and I’m not saying it didn’t work – they are – within a free, democratic setup, then all the best within a mess like one that Pak is in today. As for the plebiscite, India owes nothing to anyone, legally. If the Pak army had moved back, and freed up all of Kashmir, and if the vote happened in all of the region, the UN resolution argiment would’ve been admissible. Right now, it has no bearingon the case. Also, the Valley is a small part of J&K (&L, if I may dare to include the voice a huge mass of people otherwise unrelated to this issue). Not all of those people are demanding Azaadi. Yes, I think India should hold a referendum in the Valley – because we should take the higher moral path and try and get this resolved – and because we’ve tried hard enough and long enough. If they really want out, well, let them. not to honour defunct resolutions, but because we cannot get over their distrust of us anymore, and we’d rather not have them hang around in their current state. Jammu, Ladakh are Indian, and happily at that. We cannot drag them into this. And international reporters really really need a little deeper sense on the issue before they pass judgement. Its just too shallow, and presumptuous.