Courtesy Reuters

Danger in Kashmir

FOR almost seven years India and Pakistan have been waging a frustrating and exhausting struggle for Kashmir, a struggle that largely consumes the heavy budgets that burden their uncertain economies. Still, today, their armies watch each other across the precarious cease-fire line which was established under United Nations mediation some five years ago. The problem itself--whether the State of Jammu and Kashmir will become part of India or Pakistan--has eluded the efforts not only of bilateral negotiations, but of United Nations mediation as well. The country continues to be divided into two hostile camps with irreconcilable aims; one, the Azad Government, striving for the unification of Kashmir and its integration with Pakistan; the other, the Srinagar Government, linking its existence with India. Mutual suspicions, hatred and anger have almost obliterated the longstanding agreement between the Governments of India and Pakistan that the fate of Kashmir is to be decided by the democratic process of plebiscite.

But in the last few months the dispute has taken on a new and ominous character. As India persists with increased vehemence in a course of policy independent of the power struggle between the forces of democracy and Communism, and as Pakistan sees her national security better served by doing her share in strengthening the exposed area of South Asia and the Middle East, the dispute over Kashmir has become even more inflammable. The quarrel has now been projected into the arena of the global East-West struggle, turning Kashmir into one of the real danger spots of the world.

While the Governments of India and Pakistan have been engaged in diplomatic battles over Kashmir and the United Nations has played (somewhat timidly) the rôle of mediator, the Communist Party of India and the Soviet Union have thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle and have systematically pursued at the same time inconspicuous but effective tactics to turn the country into a Communist base for infiltration on the subcontinent. If the free world has only now begun to realize

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