Peace is often an incremental process. The sudden agreement this past weekend by Indian officials and Kashmiri independence groups to talk is progress. That one of the most-feared militant groups has agreed to a temporary cease-fire is yet more cause for hope. But the hard work of negotiations is yet to begin. And eventually, there will have to be another seat at the table - for Pakistan.
During a recent visit to Kashmir, I tried to discover where the hearts of locals resided. Did they want full independence from both India and Pakistan? Or would they be satisfied with more autonomy under Indian rule? Most were too fearful to answer the question directly. But when asked which cricket team they would root for in a match between India and Pakistan, the answer was always immediate and forceful: Pakistan.
Navigating such passions and prejudices is essential to rebuilding a war-torn society. In Kosovo, several foreign judges have been brought in to restore confidence in a judicial system that has been tilted by ethnic bias and a tendency toward revenge.
David Clark Scott World editor
REPORTERS ON THE JOB..
*WHAT'S IN A NAME? The Monitor's Fred Weir says that the piece he wrote today on patenting glass bottles brought home to him just how much of a pirate's haven Russia has become and how hard it is to establish the culture of respect for intellectual property. He had another reminder yesterday morning. On his half-hour rail commute from his dacha back to Moscow, a man swept through the train, hawking four "Toshiba" AA batteries for about 30 cents, a package of "Bic" razors for about 35 cents, and digital watches for $1.25. "You just have to know," Fred says, "that this stuff is counterfeit." He was reading the newspaper at the time, and a figure stood out to him - it was reported that 50 percent of the "instant coffee" in Russia is not really coffee, but chicory and other spices.
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