Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Learning important lessons from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
by: Moin Ansari
Updated Nov. 1995
Please send all serious responses to

“ Whosoever of you sees an evil action,let him change it with his hand, and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue, and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart- and that is the weakest of faith.” Hadith of the Prophet Mohammad---Related by Imam Muslim.

“If we believe in Ram then the same Ram has created people who believe in Islam and Christianity and Sikhism and Budhhism. so being (a) majority in India isn't it the responsibity of Hindus to be considerate for the feelings of minorities.” Arun Gupta paraphrasing Mohandas K. Gandhi on Resposibilities as an Indian Hindu

We come to you friends,
But you attack us as enemies;
And between our friendship and your enmity,
There is a deep ravine flowing with tears and blood
---- Khalil Gibran

When all efforts to restore peace prove useless and no words avail,
Lawful is the flash of steel, it is right to draw the sword.
--------- Guru Gobind Singh ......Zafarnama 1704

Economically, these days, there is no national sovereignty. Strategically,
borders are becoming meaningless. Scientifically, only the globe and the
universe matter. What is left that is ours? Culture and historical memories
expressed in our language. -- Shimon Peres

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." -Martin Luther King

While a person of pure intelligence may
achieve the goal by the most casual of
instructions, another may seek knowledge
all one's life and still remain bewildered.
-Ashtavakra Gita 15.1

Spread of Islam in South Asia:
"....I became more than ever convinced that it was not the
sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It
was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the prophet, the
scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and
followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and
in his own mission. These, and not the sword carried everything before
them and surmounted every trouble." YOUNG INDIA, 1924. (10) M.K. GANDHI

(Bestimmt mochte `liebensraum', aber keine mehr!)

"No civilisation is conquered from without
untill it has destroyed itself from within"

We have been working on a solution for Kashmir for years. What began as an exchange of thoughts has now acquired a life of its own. People from across the planet have sent us information, people who would usually be considered “enemies” participated in evolving a solution. What began as an exercize to learn has yielded enough information to complete a thesis on Kashmir. What makes this monograph different from others is that almost all the information was gathered on the internet through the various newsgroups. We have tried to give credit where it is due. This article has grown due to the tempers it flares and the historical research it spawns. This is more than we bargained for. We have received an overwhelming reponse from Indians and Pakistanis. There is a tremendous desire to achieve peace. It is only the tactics for achieving peace that differ. We have been changing the article based on the feedback from other Indians and Kashmiris.

For the sake of fairness we have tried to include almost ALL perspectives of the conflict in this treatise, however we admit that the article may have a bias towards the Pakistani perspective. We do not aplogize for the bias, because one of the reasons for writing the article was to set the record straight, to put forward the historical chronology for the newer generations of Pakistanis who may not know our side of the story.

The article discusses why peace would be a good thing for South Asia and what it is costing us not to have peace. It traces the history of Kashmir from the earliest times to the present day. It includes or tries to include all the possible points of view (Kashmiri, American, British, Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, U.N., Fundamentalist Pakistani, Fanatical Indian and others), and the article includes the current views of international authors, Desmond Edwards, Alister Lamb and Stanley Wolpert. The article then proposes several option and solutions. This is not the final version of this article. As we get more ideas we will try to include them in this writing.

Normal and standard copyright restriction apply to reproducing this article. You may copy any portion of this article as long as you give me or the authors mentioned proper credit. You may not reproduce this article for commercial purposes without the permission of the author.


The purpose of the article to seek peace for the South Asian Subcontinent. The article seeks to inform instigate and inspire the visionaries. This article is being posted to solicit comments from Indians, Kashmiris and Pakistanis and other students of history and political science who are serious about dialogue between our countries and our peoples. The world is looking at us with great expectations and great apprehension.

Are we going to remain the only island of poverty in Asia or can we overcome our differences and create prosperity for 1 Billion peoples who reside in the subcontinent?

Please send all serious responses to Please save all non-serious comments for other addresses. We will continue to update this article as we get more information.

I cannot take credit for all the matierial in this writing even if I wanted to. It is really a compilation of facts and arguments. I have included the writings of the main authors of our times who have written on Kashmir. Let me use this space to thank all the writers that remain acknowledged and those that I have not mentioned in these writings. I would like to consider myself as a student of political science. I was born in Pakistan and now live in the United States. I have several Bachelors degrees from Pakistan and the U.S. My post graduate education includes a degree was from UCLA, and I have an MBA. I am an avid student of history and enjoy discourse on the political estabishments of our time. You may copy any portion of this article as long as you give me or the authors mentioned proper credit

I have no affiliation with any organization on Kashmir. For more information on Kashmir please note that in my opinion the true authority on all Kashmiri history is Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American Council. He should be contacted to refute all attempts at disinformation. Internet URL for more information in Kashmir: or


We need to create consensus on the Kashmir issue. India’s hopes of creating a new U.S.-India relationship at the expense of Pakistan has received only lukewarm support in America. Rao is trying to find new friends in Congress. Pakistan’s attempt to internationalize the issue at the United Nations has was a dismal failure, but after the Nuclear explosions in Pokran it is an active and live issues in world capitals. Foreign Offices in both countries are trying to outdo each other, trying to make each country look bad. Both are successful. Both nations look bad. When American business find India and Pakistan at each others throats they seek other pastures in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. When American companies do not move to the subcontinent in droves, both nations suffer.

Both Pakistanis and Indians need to understand that business is not a zero-sum game. Rao’s visit to the U.S in 1994 was successful in many matters, but it had many problems. Bush’s visit to India was a resounding success. American businesses are moving to India and Pakistan. Companies moving to China want to take advantage of the economic opportunities in Asia. They are not there to burn flags, or salute personalities. Companies moving to India are lured by the 40-200 million consumers in India. Companies moving to Pakistan are seduced by the 20 million consumers in Pakistan. Companies moving to either country would not like to ignore the other consumers across the border. American multi-nationals want to use one Asian country as a springboard to reach the other country. International business borders are very porous. American business does not understand political roadblock. The same Boeing that changed Clinton’s mind on the MFN issue in favor of China would vote for doing business, both in Pakistan and India.


a) Nehru's obsession of keeping his own HOME STATE under his domain

b) Lack of leadership at the INC.....Gandhi was a messiah not a INC leader....Jawaharlal was too busy with his libido to reach the stature of Motilal Nehru...Patel was too radical to be able to talk to Jinnah's genius

c) India's designs to string satelllite states around itself...a la USSR

d) Lack of democracy in Pakistan

e) Lack of understanding between the ML and INC leadership

f) Failure in Pakistan to understand provincial rights

g) Failure in India to recognize minority rights

h) Cold War: USA-USSR proxy wars

i) Asia: China-India proxy war

j) Central Asia-India cold possibilities

h) Sheikh Abdullahs lack of honesty and his attempts at power

i) The military industrial complexes in BOTH countries. It is beneficial for both militaties to keep the war and hatred alive

j) Religious problems and Two Nation Theory and One Nation theory and ideological wars

1) Federalism vs. Autonomy for states/provinces

2) Congress infatuation with absolute power for the center

3) Lack of chemistry between the leaders of the AIML and the INC

4) Lack of respect for the ML and their leadership

5) Lack of recognition of minority rights in the proposed Indian Union of South Asia

6) In ability of the INC to calm down the rightist factions of the INC ...Rai...etc,

7) In ability fo the INC to undestand Muslim seperatism...they continued to brand it as communalism...where it actually was REGIONALISM and MINORITY RIGHTS under Jinnah


South Asia we seem to be stuck in a quagmire. The last and nth round of talks between India and Pakistan have “failed”. We have to dissect the causes of the failure of the talks so that we can learn from it.

The pace of industrialization in the subcontinent is increasing. Before we congratulate our governments over the pace of industrialization, we need to analyze some numbers. American investment to India has stagnated at about a Billion Dollars (750 million in FY93-94), which is 5 times more than what it was 5 years ago, but this investment amount is a drop in the bucket for India. Investment in Pakistan is to the tune of 2 Billion Dollars twice last years amount, and growing. Both amounts pale if compared to the 8 Billion invested in Thailand, and the Billions invested in China. According to some estimates, the cost of not resolving the Kashmir issue is costing India about 20 Billion Dollars a year, and it is costing Pakistan about 5 Billion Dollars a year in foreign investment.

Obviously the Indians are hurting, both economically and in terms of international prestige. Keeping a large army in Kashmir is expensive. Keeping a large army in Kashmir on red alert is very expensive. Dreams of Asian security (recently re-packaged) are going no where without the active cooperation of Pakistan. The Oil pipelines from Qatar and other Gulf states to India cannot materialize without the consent of Pakistan. The land routes from India to Europe are blocked by a belligerent Pakistan. In summary Pakistani enmity is costing India Billions of Dollars. The economic costs are in additional to the un-realistic expenditures on defense.

Indian belligerence is costing Pakistan too. A viscous enemy on the border threatens our very existence. We cannot afford to spend less on defense. Our survival depends on it. Due to the Indian bogey, a disproportionately large portion of our budget is spent on defense. This expenditure could be utilized for better purposes if we did not have animosity with India. Case in point: Pakistan recently paid Billions of Dollars for F-16s and other armaments. We could have built at least 1000 major world class hospitals in Pakistan, if we had spent Billions of Dollars in the health sector. The Indian bogey curtails our industrial growth by prohibiting our industry’s growth and expansion into the lucrative Indian market. The belligerency towards India is advantageous to the military power brokers in Pakistan. It keeps them in business.
For decades the subcontinent led the world in arms expenditure.


Now look at initial the Indian stance:

1) Kashmir is an integral part of India.

2) The accession of Kashmir to India is final.

3) India cannot afford to give up Kashmir because it would open up a Pandora’s box for the Indian Union.

4) The unfinished business of partition is the return of Pakistani (Azad) Kashmir to India

During the last Indo-Pak negotiations a trial balloon was floated right before the negotiations by the Indian side. Would Pakistan accept the existing line of control as the International border? This trial balloon itself was a significant concession from the Indian side because it compromised every position that they have taken up to this point. The Pakistani response tot he trial balloon was quick and brutal. We shot it down without giving it any consideration.


As Pakistanis we have to assess our expectations and we need to analyze our position. Before we even talk to Indians we have to answer the following two question.

a) Are we looking towards the Kashmir issue as a reason to acquire additional territory for the Islamic republic or we need to evaluate our conscience ?

b) Are we looking at the resolution of the Kashmir issue to help and assist the Kashmiri Muslims of South Asia?

c) Are we willing to consider the aspirations of non-Muslims living in Kashmir?

We have grown up in government rhetoric, and state propaganda for so long that it is extremely difficult to answer the above question in an either or situation. In most Pakistani minds the answer to the above questions is simple. Summarily stated, most Pakistanis would answer the question thus “we are doing the Kashmiris a great favor by allowing them to join us“. Without going in to the merits of this case, we need to understand this reasoning. If the Indians want to understand the Pakistani point of view they have to deal with this mentality. The point of discussion is. what is most perplexing for American, foreign, and even Arab and Muslim governments is “Is this the last or the first position of the Pakistanis?“ For most Pakistanis who have grown up in fixed paradigms there is no question of a first and last position. “return what is ours“.

As a nation we are very weak in conflict resolution. We have suffered because of this weakness in our national character. We have big egos that cannot be bent for our mutual good. We need to develop good conflict resolution skills.

If we are serious about resolving the Kashmir problem, as a nation we need to:

1) Tone down the rhetoric.

2) Inform the Indians that we are serious about the negotiations, and seek confidence building measures from them.

3) Educate and inform our people of the historical facts of Kashmir.

4) Develop consensus amongst ourselves as a nation.

5) Seriously explain the problems to the Kashmiris, and treat them like partners.

6) Develop alliances with the Kashmiris that would support the joint Pakistani-Kashmiri point of view.

7) Develop initial and final Pakistani conditions that would be used in negotiations.

8) Seek assistance from America, Russia, Britain, the Muslim states, and the friends of India to really resolve the issue.

9) Seek the assistance of the United Nations to resolve the conflict, rather than to degrade India.

Part 4

If we are ready to resolve the Kashmir conflict, and as a nation I believe that at the present time we are not ready to resolve the conflict. I state this for the following reasons.

 Siege Mentality

 Land is of paramount importance

 Leadership issues

Most Pakistanis have grown up in a siege mentality. Pakistan is the only nation that was forcibly broken up between WW 2 and the end of the cold war. Land is of extreme important to Pakistanis. Eighty percent of our workers are farmers. 80% of our people live on the land and live off it. Land is everything to them. Pakistanis are afraid and apprehensive of any move that faintly resembles “giving land away”. Land is like children, you cannot give it away. It takes a very bold step to break the siege mentality. However it does not take exceptional or charismatic leaders to take a bold step. Leaders who do take the bold step are considered brave and charismatic. If we look at Begin or Rabin, one could consider them as mediocre politicians who got engulfed in a vision and the vision engulfed them and this increased their stature. For Saddaat it was a very profitable venture for his people. He may have been the only one who had a giant stature.

Both Pakistan and India have weak governments. Can either of them afford to take a bold step? Israel had a very weak government when it signed the peace treaty with Egypt, and it has a very weak coalition movement right now. However she is moving towards peace.

THE POSSIBLE OPTIONS --Current Affairs--Opinion

0) The Do Nothing Option. The status quo remains. The rhetoric is tuned up every few years.

1) All of Kashmir becomes part of India.

2) All of Kashmir is “liberated” and becomes part of Pakistan.

3) All of Kashmir becomes part of China.

4) All of Kashmir becomes “free” and becomes independent.

5) “Kashmir” is divided, and sub-divided again along religious lines, and the parts “given” to India, Pakistan and China.

6) A negotiated combination of any of the above.

7) A real solution to the Kashmir issue through “give and take”, compromise and consensus.

...the rest of this landmark seminal article will be posted on this site...stay tuned!

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