Former foreign minister and seasoned diplomat K. Natwar Singh has said that converting the Line of Control (LoC) into the International Border (IB) is the only solution in sight to end the long-standing rivalry between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.
Pakistan and India have fought wars over Kashmir in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999.
Natwar Singh told ANI that despite trying every method, there has been no solution. He said the solution finding process can take 10 years, 15 years or even 20 years.
Indian and Pakistani soldiers at Wagah frontpagemag
Ruling out war as a solution to this problem, he said the Kashmir issue has now got involved into international affairs in the world and a lot of people have started taking interest in it. “We have tried for 70 years, but nothing has happened,” he emphasized.
“Our people were saying during the time of (former Pakistan President) Gen. Pervez Musharraf that there was a seven-point agreement, even though the citizens of India and Pakistan don’t accept even one point. So, the solution to this is when the time is ripe, we can look at this (converting LoC into IB),” said the veteran diplomat.
When asked whether Pakistan would not create trouble if the LoC is converted into the IB, Singh said of course not, as if everything is accepted and when your borders are there, breaching the IB would not be possible.
Rejecting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statement that the Uri terror attack could be the result of a reaction of the people to the situation in Kashmir, he said India shouldn’t pay too much attention to them.
“This is not for the first time that this has happened, they have been doing all along. What they did in Bombay (Mumbai), more than 250 people died; what they did in Pathankot; what they have done in Uri; they did Kargil, but Kargil was serious, so we gave them a reply and they had to retreat in Kargil,” he added. indiatoday
He also said Sharif is speaking on these things for internal reasons, however, but public opinion has to be guided by the leadership. “The anger of our people is fully justified, but going to war is not an answer and I don’t think we will go to war,” he added.
He also said that India had been successful in isolating Pakistan at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). “When he (Sharif) made a speech at the UNGA, no country supported him, not even the Muslim countries as far as I know,” he pointed out.
On revisiting the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan, Singh said, “No it’s not a serious matter, you cannot do it, and people who are talking about it are talking irresponsibly. You either go to war or talk to them. Both of us are nuclear powers, and thus, it is not that easy. When they were not a nuclear power, things were different, now we have to be very careful.”