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Landscapes of Writing

Collected Essays of Bapsi Sidhwa

Series:

Bapsi Sidhwa

Edited By Teresa Russo

This book is a collection of essays by international writer Bapsi Sidhwa gathered for the first time in one edition by Teresa Russo, with a foreword written by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Deepa Mehta. Landscapes of Writing: Collected Essays of Bapsi Sidhwa provides a writer’s perspective on issues of South Asian literature, linguistics, poetry, and views of political events and globalization. In the first part of the book, Bapsi Sidhwa discusses her childhood, family life, and how she became a writer. There is also a revised essay detailing how her book Cracking India became a film by Deepa Mehta. The second part of the book focuses on her thoughts concerning war, terrorism, and how to achieve peace. This collection includes two letters, demonstrating her local and nationalistic perspectives to a larger view of an interconnected world.

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Chapter 19. Threat of War Between India and Pakistan, Still a Reality

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· 19 ·

THREAT OF WAR BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN, STILL A REALITY

July 19, 20021

The immediate threat of nuclear war between India and Pakistan having receded, we assume that the tension has eased. But the reality on the ground has not changed. India has not reduced its military presence in Kashmir and the incursions from the Pakistani side of Kashmir, though curtailed, have not ceased. Neither have any measures been taken to address the grievances that have already led to three wars between India and Pakistan.

The British botched the division of India in 1947—when India and Pakistan gained their independence—and the state of Kashmir, which was expected to go to Pakistan because of its Muslim majority, went instead to India.

To dispel international concern and calm Kashmiri unrest, India agreed to abide by a United Nations resolution passed immediately after the cease fire in 1948 to hold a referendum in Kashmir. India now maintains that the passage of time has voided the Security Council resolution. This is a dangerous argument; it renders the United Nations irrelevant.

Pakistan is not blameless. The resistance by the Kashmiri people to separate from India escalated about 11 years ago, and Pakistan’s support for the Kashmiri insurgents became militaristic. Pakistan’s tolerance of the attacks by the Afghan and Arab jihadis (holy warriors) in turn invited a massive, and ← 133 | 134 → often brutal, Indian armed presence in...

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