THE ETERNAL KASHMIR PROBLEM
Manmohan Singh is currently on a tour to US, and a meeting with Parvez Musharraf is high on his agenda. The two heads of state would be talking about Kashmir, predictably.
Kashmir is a fifty-year-old problem between India and Pakistan. And from the way the rulers of both these countries have handled it at different times during this long period, one suspects heavily that they really want to resolve the crisis. Hundreds of meetings and summits held so far have practically yielded nothing except that the Kasmir problem has now become complex and messy many times over, and very hard to crack.
But the willy Parvez this time will try to win some advantages from India with supposed help from US, its big brother. Given his current flagging status as the administrator, he needs to prove himself and boost up his image to his countrymen. George Bush, who has used Musharraf time and again for his so-called war against terrorism, is of course going to put pressure on Manmohan Singh to strike a favorable deal for Pakistan.
But Singh is an intelligent, cautious and cool-headed man. It's unlikely that he will rush into any such deal, especially at this time when there's growing doubt that Bush will emerge re-elected in the November election.
India can wait - to its advantage.