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Kashmir Issue Misunderstood By India, Pakistan and USA

Dear NewsBlaze Editor:

This letter was sent to the Washington Post, in response to the article, "India says Pakistan troops killed 2 of its soldiers in Kashmir," in the Washington Post, dated January 9, 2013.

The Washington Post states the obvious when it says, "The peace process, however, has produced almost no dramatic advances towards resolving the main disputes between the two Countries."

However, the article needs to be supplemented by Kashmiri American perspective. It is a fact that India and Pakistan by themselves have not been able to resolve their disputes, including the issue of Kashmir. They have tried over the decades but failed. It needs the deeper engagement of the United States with both these neighboring countries.

Faulty U.S. Approach To Kashmir

Secondly, it is symptomatic of the United States approach that greater emphasis is placed on the 'reduction of tensions' than on the settlement of the core issue, i.e. Kashmir. This gives importance to superficial moves and temporary solutions even though it is known that such moves and solutions do not soften the animosities of the parties as proven by the latest incident, not ally the life and death concern and anxieties of the people most directly affected.

I believe that the United States can and should, lead the effort to achieve a fair and lasting settlement of the dispute, fair to the people most immediately involved and fair to its own commitments to democracy and human rights. By doing so, the United States can strengthen the principles of a just world order. It will also earn the gratitude of generations in Kashmir, in Pakistan and in India.

Self-Determination Is Key Principle

The United States should, however, realize that no settlement of Kashmir will hold unless it is explicitly based on the principle of self-determination and erases the so-called 'Line of Control' which is in fact the 'Line of Conflict.'

It is important to note that the most driving passion of the people of Kashmir today is the passion of Azaadi (Freedom), a passion that has become the very bread and butter of their lives. The word Azaadi is more common on the lips of Kashmiri youth than the word droid is on American college campuses today.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Syed Ghulamnabi Fai

FCI - Cumberland
Federal Prison Camp
P. O. Box 1000
Cumberland, Maryland - 21051, USA

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