KASHMIR NOT a “DISPUTE,” only an issue?

Yesterday in Arnab’s debate one Pakistani interlocutor, ex-army man, said that Vajpayee had accepted in his Lahore declaration of 1999 that Kashmir was indeed a “disputed” territory. Immediately all the Indians in the debate opposed him and one even suggesting that the Pakistani go back and read the declaration.

Lahore declaration was clearly signed in the backdrop of Kashmir turning into a nuclear flash point in the future. For Pakistan all other issues are peripheral except Kashmir. So why pretend otherwise?

But see the hair-splitting from Quota India no sooner the ink had dried on the Lahore Declaration within a few days of signing it.

Pakistan Foreign Office claimed Vajpayee had, throughout his visit, REFERRED TO THE JAMMU AND KASHMIR ISSUE AS A “DISPUTE”. Indian officials retorted saying Vajpayee never used the word “dispute” and merely referred to it as an “issue.” Pakistan was accused of trying to score points and undermining the talks.

If Kashmir was not a dispute why did Vajpayee go on a “bus” diplomacy and sign the declaration? The Lahore Declaration though refers as “issue of Jammu and Kashmir” can there ever be an issue without it being a dispute that too if it is the magnitude of Kashmir? Why split hairs and obfuscate which sadly has been the hallmark of Indo-Pak relations. Both sides are guilty as hell.

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