Saturday, October 15, 2005

Kashmir quake, a week after

It's a week since the earthquake shattered Kashmir -- the Pak-controlled part taking brunt of it. As this article in Slate "One earthquake, two countries" says: "... natural disasters are also always political. In the case of the South Asian earthquake, it took only a day or two for the disaster to lay bare the political fault lines of the troubled region. Now, as the death toll balloons toward 30,000, and rescuers struggle to get tents and blankets and high-energy biscuits to victims in remote areas, politicians in Delhi, Islamabad, and Washington pick at their own sores."

The temblor also showed so tragically what a waste it is to spend millions a day to maintain this border -- that too a farcical one, for what is seen in the map is not what is on the ground! Indian soldiers cross over the Line of Control (that is the border on the ground, not on the map!) unarmed and help the Pakistani soldiers.

Good. But, such efforts too should also have a ludicrous element attached to it -- someone says Indian troops also helped rebuild Pak bunkers! I wonder who could have made that claim -- it can't be a Pakistani (how can he admit that he let the enemy come in to build his bunker), nor it can be an Indian (how can he admit that he went across to the enemy to build his bunker).

Tragedies can be a catalyst to thawing of frosty relations. But nothing of that is evident here.

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