Kashmir solution will make Pakistan ‘normal’: US expert | Pakistan Today

Kashmir solution will make Pakistan ‘normal’: US expert

A resolution of the outstanding Kashmir issue would make Pakistan a “more normal state” and reduce its preoccupation with India, said a former CIA officer, who was one of the architects of US President Barack Obama’s Af-Pak policy in his first term.

In his latest book Avoiding Armageddon: America, India, and Pakistan to the Brink and Back, Bruce Riedel said by eliminating Pakistan’s desire to wage asymmetric warfare against India, it would also discourage Pakistan from making alliances with the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and al Qaeda.

Riedel and late Richard Holbrooke were the architects of Obama’s Af-Pak policy. He is currently a research scholar at the prestigious Brookings Institute.

“The resolution of the Kashmir issue would go a long way toward making Pakistan a more normal state and reducing its preoccupation with India,” he wrote.

He said it would also remove a major rationale for the army’s disproportionate role in Pakistani national security affairs that in turn would help to ensure the survival of genuine civilian democratic rule in the country.

“Former ambassador William Milam, a seasoned South Asia hand, has rightly stressed that the ‘India-Centricity of the Pakistani mindset is the most important factor and variable’ in the future of the country. Such an agreement would not resolve all the tensions between the two neighbours. However, their disputes on issues other than Kashmir are comparatively trivial,” he wrote.

“A Kashmir deal would set the stage for a different era in the subcontinent and for more productive interaction between the international community and Pakistan. It could set the stage for a genuine rapprochement between India and Pakistan and nurture trade and economic interaction, which could transform the subcontinent for the better,” Riedel said.

He said “it is also in India’s interest” to find a solution to the conflict, which had gone on far too long.

“Since the Kargil war in 1999, the Indians have been more open to an American role in Kashmir because they sense that Washington is fundamentally in favour of a resolution to maintain the status quo, which India can accept,” he claimed.

“The key to Indian cooperation will be whether the United States can make clear to Pakistan that some red lines regarding terrorism are real, especially a red line on Lashkar-e-Tayyba. If [Congress President] Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister [Manmohan] Singh can point to real evidence that LeT is being broken up and dismantled in Pakistan, then they will have the political clout to advance the back-channel talks to secure a peace breakthrough,” Riedel wrote.

“It is clearly in the American interest to try to defuse a lingering conflict that has generated global terrorism and repeatedly threatened to create a full-scale military confrontation on the subcontinent,” he wrote.

Related posts


  1. Max said:

    The solution as per US interest. Bruce Reidel, to my surprise has not commented on the disputed status of Baluchistan. Kashmir was ceeded to India by the Maharaja, whereas Baluchistan was forecefully annexed by Pakistan. If the civil society has broken down in Pakistan, it is for Pakistan to get the house in order. No amount of intervention of any kind, will help. One might also argue that the state of affairs has gone too far for any meaningful change in Pakistan's domestic or foreign situation.

  2. desi said:

    Nothing in this world and beyond can make Pakistan normal.Now it can go back to the way it was which is low key,no bombs going off,pretty calm country,no terrorists,no killings,ni innocent minorities(I hate using the word minority)who happens to be just as much Pakistanis as any sunni.I think Pakistan will simmer down once these wars end but I don't see India ever giving up Kashmir,the will always come up with an excuse.This is just a simple way looking at it without any political or strategic reasoning.The people of Pakistan are simple people like Indian people,its the extreme religious idiots mullahs and the idiots who kill in the name of ALLAH who have turned our beloved Pakistan into a war zone with thousands dead for meaningless reasons.The change can and will happen as long as the same 2 parties don't win again

  3. Shak said:

    There is nothing for Pakistan in "status quo" solution though India may desire this.

  4. Raja Masood said:

    Kasmir is a nuclear flashpoint between India and Pakistan.To save world from a nuclear holocaust it is must for the U.S as the sole super power to force India to fulfill its commitment to the Kashmiri people and the civilized world to held a free a fair U.N sponsored plebcite as defiened in UNSC resolutions. If UNSC resolutions on Kuwait and Libya can be implimented by force why the same UNSC resolutions can not be implemented by force in Kashmir?

  5. muzzafar aziz said:

    There is no doubt about the fact that the main cause of the conflict between india and pakistan is kashmir, but as far as india is concerned it will not give up unless and untill the people of india will come to know that how much economy is being destroyed on the name of pride that is nevertheless Kashmir. Undoubtedly we the kashmiri love people of India but simultaneously hate the dictators of India who have not only destroyed our future but have made so many mistakes while framing the country as secular and democratic. Dear friends let me know if there is terrorism from hardliners of muslim community isn't there terrorism from Hindu hardliners, why in a country with so much of reputation being democratic there is second thought on saffron terror because of the power they posses. There is no doubt in my mind as long as the economy of India is stable they will tackle every obstacle as soon as it falls down of which the glimpses are seen now every solution will be possible not only the kashmir issue but fears are it will divide in so many regions.
    Being a good human being i would love to see a good leadership which i couldn,t see while going through present and past.
    Lastly i assure just hang one saffron terrorist you can hang three from others side but everybody knows for that you have to take a bold decision which unfortunately you cannot as the hit list starts from Narendra Modi. History reveals every person involved in genocide will be punished.

  6. Mannat Sheikh said:

    We, as Indians, have several issues to deal with. Our government has enormous of excuses and ways to get attention of its voters and lure them to cast vote in their favors. Trust me, the other excuses sound more important if considered for support-gathering point of view. In Pakistan situation is quite unlike. Anti-India and especially pro-Kashmir sentiments work exceedingly in favor of the military, ruling government or even the opposition parties. They are in no position to give up this formula since the state of affairs are quite chaotic. With no internal security, no education, no social security and with no hope for the future (as of now)…the leadership of Pakistan is left with only one immunity; anti-India sentiments. Unless Pakistan seriously improve its internal social and security scenario, any optimism for a peaceful coexistence seems Utopian. Kashmir is working more for Pakistan's interest, they will not give up. You cannot compare Libya or Kuwait with Kashmir. Kashmir is very much a part of India. They came willingly and accepted to be a part of India, it was not an annexation. Go and Karachi wala's, they will be more than happy to announce themselves as a separate state. Hazara's will be the happiest community to leave Pakistan and form a separate state.

  7. G. Din said:

    If Pakistan chooses to be abnormal, it is its choice and definitely no skin off the nose of India. If Pakistan or US thinks India will break its territorial integrity so that Pakistan becomes "normal" and therefore easily pliable by US, both of them should deal with their delusions. India is not at any cost going to hold a plebiscite. If there is a pending question in Kashmir, it is the vacation o0f illegal occupation by Pakistan. That would be the right thing to do by Pakistan. Doing right things lead to better results.

  8. sherbaz said:

    The typical myopic mindset of all the indian ladies and gentlemen commenting on Pakistan and Kashmir why dont they hold a refrendum in kashmir after withdrawing their troops from the area.

  9. Ashish said:

    Give kashmir valley….don't do plebiscite as we all know what's going to happen…..Indian army should not be used to guard the kashmir valley but should guard jammu valley….no problem but keep rest of jammu valley and ladakh…just a way forward….I am indian BTW….

Comments are closed.