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Even war cannot give India and Pakistan what they want, says Former PM Vajpayee's aide

Wednesday May 17, 2017 11:56 AM, News Network

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Urging India and Pakistan to realise ground realities and use the available opportunities for the economic, infrastructural, social and cultural development and resolve Kashmir and other bilateral issues Sudheendra Kulkarni, who was an aide to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee advocated that war is not an option or a solution.

"For too long, successive governments in India have been parroting the seemingly patriotic but totally impractical claim that the only solution to the Kashmir issue is for Pakistan to hand over PoK to India.

"Similarly, ultra-nationalists in Pakistanis have been claiming that the only solution is for India to vacate its part of Kashmir. There is no chance in hell or heaven for either claim to ever come true. Even a new war, which is likely to be a catastrophic nuclear war, cannot give India and Pakistan what they want", Kulkarni wrote in an article published by NDTV.

"Therefore, both sides now need to think innovatively and boldly and reject mindsets that have only produced hostility and confrontation so far", he added.

Terming self-goal India's boycott of recently concluded "New Silk Road" summit in China, Kulkarni said it was an opportunity for India, and for Modi personally, to be seen as a major leader bringing India's wisdom to an initiative that Chinese Premier Xi Jinping has audaciously, and without much exaggeration, called the "Project of the Century".

"Sadly, in the eyes of the over 100 countries represented at the conference, including 29 heads of state or government, India was the proverbial "elephant in the room" - conspicuous by its absence", Kulkarni, who was India's unofficial delegate at the Belt and Road summit in Beijing, wrote.

Kulkarni also slammed the statement issued ahead of th China summit and use of words by the foreign ministry.

"It is bad diplomacy to equate bluster with strategy. What to say, when to say, how much to say and how to say it in an overall cost-benefit matrix are essential determinants of how a nation expresses its displeasure, especially in a relationship that presents big gains and risks. India's statement was untimely, un-nuanced and, quite simply, undiplomatic", he wrote.

Kulkarni also said that there was a chance for India by joining the China initiated mega project to improve bilateral ties and resolve dispute with Pakistan. However by boycotting the event India is at risk of being isolated, he wrote.

"Indeed, by joining Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), India has the best chance ever of normalising relations with Pakistan, and improving relations with China, in what can be a new win-win initiative for the benefit of the whole of South Asia.

"Now, rather than joining BRI and attempting to make it more multilateral, democratic, consultative, all-inclusive and less China-centric, India is pushing itself in an isolationist corner", he wrote.

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