Pakistan’s Army chief General Qamar Bajwa’s statement on the country’s Defence Day, that India should resolve the Kashmir issue through political and diplomatic means, must have made some people in New Delhi miss a heartbeat. At least, people wondered if Gen Bajwa had wanted to embark on the same path as his predecessor, Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf. Perhaps, American pressure has begun to work in making Rawalpindi think through its options? However, all of this is in the realm of conjecture, as status quo is maintained on both sides.
Even if Gen Bajwa is anxious, he didn’t make his men anxious. In fact, what he told his men was that the responsibility of solving the Kashmir issue through peaceful means was India’s, and that INStead of blaming it on the Pakistan Army, New Delhi ought to reconsider its options in Kashmir. The perception in Islamabad of the situation in Kashmir and what could be achieved is diametrically opposed to how New Delhi thinks. While the latter believes that the unrest in Kashmir must be treated as a law and order issue that will improve with time and consistent pressure, the former looks at it as an internal rebellion that India may not be able to handle for long. In the process, both sides watch intently as to how far the other would go.