Clear Pattern

Clear Pattern
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That there is a clear and obvious pattern to the violent skirmishes between India and Pakistan on and along the Line of Control (LoC) would amount to stating the obvious. But, the fact that there are real consequences warrants that matters be put into perspective regarding this tit for tat violence. Given its serial nature, it would appear that this violence is actually a micro conflict embedded in the larger macro conflict between India and Pakistan. So the causal loop of these flare ups along the LoC starts backwards or is the inverse. Broken down, this means that the LoC violence flows from the dispute and conflict between India and Pakistan, whatever the provocations, by and on either side might be on the LoC. So , essentially, setting up hotlines or any other mechanisms to stem or even stop this violence would be a non starter. What, the question is, could be the antidote for this. Rapprochement between India and Pakistan is the answer. But, this is easier said than done. The animosity between India and Pakistan, which basically flows from emotion, history and notions of sovereignty that are at odds with each other has, over time, become structural. However, this does not or should not mean resignation to the bleak state of affairs. The two countries, much as they are unable to countenance each other are locked together by geography. The bathos is that they are separated by history and different ideas. While geography is not necessarily destiny, to take recourse to a cliché, it means that it cannot be altered. Moreover, overlaying geography is the nuclearization of the Indo Pak dispute. These features of the dispute mean that both India and Pakistan must overcome their respective structural animus and make efforts at genuine rapprochement. Key or even route to this lies through and in Kashmir. The valley is the flashpoint where the respective identities of India and Pakistan clash and get reified in the conflict in and over Kashmir. So, if Kashmir is the ramrod that adds a layer of animosity between India and Pakistan, then it is through the resolution of the conflict in and over Kashmir that a broader, wider and deeper rapprochement between the two countries lies. So prudence and sagacity suggest that efforts be directed to the resolution of the conflict. Shorn of accretions, the essence of this approach means the primacy of imagination over fact. For the sake of their people and the world at large, let powers that be in both countries unchannel their imagination now.

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