General Musharraf of Pakistan gave an important address re: terrorism and Kashmir yesterday
January 13, 2002 3:35 PM   Subscribe

General Musharraf of Pakistan gave an important address re: terrorism and Kashmir yesterday He also banned 5 extremist groups. It seems have been fairly well received in both India and Pakistan. Though the extremist sections of Pakistani polity attacked the speech, one hopes that the biggest deployment of troops on the Indo-Pakistan border since the 1971 war days will start to ease up now. (More inside)
posted by justlooking (8 comments total)
This is about a day old. But I didnt see any references here. So I thought I would post it here anyway.

Musharrar seems to be trying to do something about cross-border terrorism. Indians tend to be suspicious of any Pakistani move as mere osmetic measures to keep the Western diplomats happy. But with starting to round up extremists, Musharraf seems to be ready to risk the wrath of the Mullahs.

Is the general talking against terrorism just to turn the heat off or is he truely using this as an opportunity for some much needed housecleaning?
posted by justlooking at 3:44 PM on January 13, 2002

As Sharon says of Arafat: we will judge him by deeds and what happens and not by his words and his promises.
posted by Postroad at 3:58 PM on January 13, 2002

I would hardly equate India-Pakistan with Israel-Palestine. That's almost irresponsible.
posted by donkeyschlong at 4:49 PM on January 13, 2002

Its hard to know whether Musharraf is serious about reining in the militants. On the one hand, it does sound like he intends to go after the terrorists. On the other hand, the man is a very savvy politician and knows the right thing to say at the right time.

Only time will tell. He will need to follow up with action, and it would probably help a lot if he handed over a few of the 20 that India wants.

Another issue is that actions that he takes will probably not show results for a period of time. For example, the militants currently in Kashmir probably have enough weapons not to need reinforcements for a while. It is also very likely that they will plan some big attacs in the next few days to show their defiance of Musharraf's change of position.

SO I am curious as to how the Indians are planning to judge Pakistan's end of support to terrorism in the short term. Any thoughts regarding that.
posted by rsinha at 5:09 PM on January 13, 2002

It sounds good, right up to:

"No Pakistani can sever his relationship and link with Kashmir. Everyone knows that. We will continue to provide moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmir cause."

There's some olive branch in his statement, but it sounds to me like he's still willing to go to war over Kashmir.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:32 PM on January 13, 2002

I think he has to pay lip service to the Kashmir issue for obvious reasons -- i.e., he can't look like he's acquiescing completely and across the board.

But he's a savvy fellow, and he's figured out something the rest of the Muslim world would do well to note: it's much harder to vilify you when you project a moderate attitude.

And as for routing out militants at home, the assurances that he will do so boil down to the fact that they threaten the liberal elite, including his own position ... to say nothing of the fact that the general population, seduced by the charms of satellite television and other global media culture, find the extremists just as distasteful as the rest of us. They want their MTV.
posted by donkeyschlong at 6:05 PM on January 13, 2002

Conceding all support for Kashmir, of course, would be the effective equivalent (the way most Pakistanis see it) of ceding away part of the country. But even India is cool with that claim; they generally seem to be ready to accept a settlement along the line of control, e.g. a roughly 50/50 political solution (though India would get the lion's share of the economically viable parts of the region). What's important to India is that Pakistan drop its foreign policy strategy of fomenting militancy both in Kashmir and from within its own borders AND giving tangible monetary, military, logistics, and intelligence support to the militants, a policy which seems aimed as much at maintaining instability in Kashmir to act as a "pin" on Indian military power. That's reached the point where its ultimate effects, such as the Parliament attack, are intolerable to India.
posted by dhartung at 9:42 PM on January 13, 2002

I think the fact that George Fernandes, the most vocal hawk in the Indian cabinet, has said : "India will wait for effective and full implementation of whatever measures have been announced." is the right step. Wait and see, what else is there to do.
posted by bittennails at 5:42 AM on January 14, 2002

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