Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Declassifying India

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    • B G Verghese
    • In 1948, the US endorsed ‘the legal validity of Kashmir’s accession to India’.


      Yet, this understanding ‘was not set in concrete’ and ‘was later superseded by a more authoritative state department finding that backed away from that conclusion’. When and why did this tectonic shift occur in face of the UN’s stated understanding of the matter? After Pakistan formally became a military ally? In the same manner in which the US unilaterally redrew the northernmost segment of the ceasefire line to run northeast to a point near the Karakoram Pass at India’s cost, during the period 1967-’70 when Pakistan had become a diplomatic conduit to China?


      Shaffer tells us that pessimism over Frank Graham’s mediatory role in J&K, led the US to contemplate asking the Security Council to recommend seeking from the International Court of Justice an advisory opinion on the legality of Maharaja Hari Singh’s accession to India to ‘knock out’ India’s arguments for its ‘occupation’ of Kashmir. And in due course the Kashmir ‘Question’ has become the Kashmir ‘Dispute’.
    • Schaffer’s is not a bad book. It is valuable as an exposition of the American point of view. But when shall we read an Indian book based on solid Indian source material? This is, alas, still squirreled away for termites to eat, as happened again this year with India’s huge wheat hoard while people starved.

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