Hoping for the best and prepared for the worst

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The nation wishes Godspeed to General Pervez Musharraf on his historic history making visit to New Delhi at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who till recently has been trying to avoid the flash point of Kashmir, which may or may not engulf South Asia in a global nuclear war. The eyes of the world are focused on General Pervez Musharraf and Atal Bihari Vajpayee who may make history. May Allah Almighty bestow upon them the wisdom of rising above petty points and come to a reasonable solution acceptable to the people of Kashmir, who will be the main beneficiaries of the positive decision taken by these two great men.

The General has rightly pointed out in his face the nation programme on 15th June that he is going there with an open mind, with no prejudices whatsoever. At the same time, simple advice of the readers of this column to this would be maker of history is to ” HOPE FOR THE BEST BUT BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST ALSO.” Foreign policy is never based on pessimism nor it is based on optimism and the General is prudent enough to have these maxims in his armoury.

We have advised in these columns both the warring nations of India and Pakistan to take their hands off Kashmir withdraw your forces from either side of the border and let the Kashmiris decide for themselves. Even if they want to choose the third option, the choice is theirs. The masses on both sides of the border are least interested in this issue which has been a flash point for the last half a century. Every government in India and Pakistan has been trying to win the musical chair of Kashmir. Probably destiny has waited for these two great men of India and Pakistan to go down in history in letters of gold.

Had this issue of Kashmir been left only to India and Pakistan to decide it is just possible that the issue may have been decided long ago? But then came the proverbial monkey who needed markets to sell their arms and they also managed to put up one Muslim State against another and they sold their arms to both, while it is a pity that the Muslim States who professed One Allah, One Quran and One Prophet were at each others throat and the beneficiaries were the arm suppliers, the Western baniya or the proverbial monkey in Kashmir, both are one and the same.

Let not any foreign wire puller sit under the conference table while Kashmir issue is being discussed and let him not eaves drop when General Pervez Musharraf is having one to one meeting with Atal Bihari Vajpayee. So far as India is concerned, we would very sincerely advise their Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to rise to the occasion and do not miss this chance of making history in letters of gold which destiny has offered him. So far as the opposition parties are concerned, they are bound to raise hue and cry, whether the talks fail or whether the talks succeed. The opposition is always in heads I win and tail you loose position. They have only to oppose, the main people are the masses of India who are least interested in having Kashmir on their platter. We wish this summit a success and happy future and peace and tranquility for Kashmiris.

The future of South Asia also depends on the success of General Pervez Musharraf’s mission, which will emerge as a strong economic bloc and a source of strength for the Asian Continent.

Mr. Ali Ashraf Khan is a Pakistani Businessman and Ex-Politician who bid good bye to politics in order to concentrate on more useful service benefit of the political intrigues prevalent in the National Political life of Pakistan. He frequently writes for English and Urdu newspapers in Pakistan.

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