Letters to the Editor
Readers write about why India should not give up Kashmir to Pakistan.
Regarding the Dec. 29 Opinion piece, "India: Let Kashmir go": Author Bennett Ramberg's suggestion that India should "let Kashmir go" after an unprecedented murderous assault on its financial center is both risible and reprehensible.
Anyone with a modicum of compassion would have excoriated the Pakistani terrorist groups that murdered over 200 people brutally in Mumbai last month. Instead, Mr. Ramberg reserves his condemnation for India's "Cold Start" doctrine – a fundamentally defensive mechanism for India to deter such attacks. Mumbai was just the latest in a series of atrocities perpetrated by Pakistani terror groups operating ostensibly for the Kashmir cause.
It is ironic that Ramberg's piece was published on a day when people in Indian Kashmir peacefully voted in a new government with more than 50 percent voter turnout, debunking claims of any mass objection to Indian rule. Meanwhile, the Pakistani side of Kashmir is reported to resemble an agglomeration of terror training camps, from one of which the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai atrocity was recently picked up.
Ramberg should know that India will never "let Kashmir go" under the threat of savagery. Indeed, our civilization would collapse if states concede to terrorists' murderous blackmail.
Mr. Ramberg appears to misunderstand the nature of the terrorist attack in Mumbai and the nature of Pakistan Army-sponsored terrorism in general.
The purpose of this terrorism is to maintain the Pakistan Army's grip on power and budgetary resources in Pakistan. Settling Kashmir to the satisfaction of the Kashmiris is not relevant to this project. Besides, the Kashmiris will never opt to live under military dictatorship as a part of Pakistan, anyway.
Furthermore, settling Kashmir will certainly not make the task of NATO and the US in Afghanistan any easier. The Taliban are a front organization of the Pakistan military, which is why it finds ample funding and support in pursuing its attacks against Afghan government, NATO, and American targets.
Given its propensity to employ nuclear blackmailing tactics, the Pakistani Army is certainly not a trivial adversary, but it is also no friend of the US or of democratic development, in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, or anywhere else.
Ramberg ought to know better than to ask India to surrender to terrorism.
It is naive for anyone to expect that the Taliban will become peace-loving doves if they manage to wrest Kashmir from India. After driving the Soviet Union from Afghanistan in the 1980s, the Mujahideen did not just go happily back to being farmers. Giving Kashmir to Pakistan will only convince them of the effectiveness of their methods.
It is important that the US support the integrity of its ally India and fight a real war on terror.
Kendall Park, N.J.
Why is the third option for Kashmir (independence from both India and Pakistan) never on the table? The Kashmiris have been brutalized by both countries. Shouldn't we let them become totally unfettered?
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