Kashmir, the biggest ulcer on the body politic of Bharat, is, as a general rule, ever- present in the public mind in his country. But some times it keeps on hitting the head-lines, though by fits and starts. One more such time has arrived with not unexpected fizzling out of the Kashmir talks recently held at Geneva. Returning after two weeks of continuous daily confabulations, Defence Minister Gopal Swamy Aiyangar has to admit : “It would not be quite right to say the talks have failed,—but success has not attended them.” Ignoring the first part of the statement as a
diplomat’s usual reluctance to state things in a forth right manner, we have to say—and it has been acknowledged on all hands—that things apropos Kashmir are as they were prior to the conference.
In his first encounter with metropolitan pressmen Shri Aiyangar stressed the point that the talks were held in the most cordial and friendly spirit. What does it exactly mean? Only one thing-that doors are still open for further negotiations. Thus the only result we can perceive to have been yielded by this
conference is possibly more
conferences. And we are again at the starting point, ready to go again round and round the vicious circle.
It is reported that Dr. Graham’s efforts succeeded in bringing about agreement on some minor points. But how minor those points are can be easily guessed. Kashmir’s Deputy Home Minister Dhar, who had accompanied Shri Aiyangar to the talks, has frankly evaluated them by
bluntly saying that the success or failure of those points is not likely to affect the Kashmir problem this way, or that.
The crux of the problem still lies tangled in knots. It is that of the armed forces on both sides of the Cease Fire Line. Pakistan of course persists in refusing to see the light of justice on the point. Bharat, on the other hand is determined, and with full justification, to see that the number of Pak forces in occupied Kashmir must not be so much in strength as to enable Pakistan to violate the Cease Fire agreement. As for the administration in this area the Pak move is to get UN sanction, of it under the pious garb of “local authorities”. Such a sanction, in case it were given, would plainly mean UN’s O.K. to the initial Pak invasion of Kashmir, legally, constitutionally and in all respects an integral part of Bharat.
All these snares, skillfully embodied in the innocent-looking amended proposals of Dr. Graham, were successfully countered by our Defence Minister, who beat his opposite member Zafrullah Khan in his own game.
The Press of this country played a notable part in the struggle for freedom, declared Dr S Radhakrishnan, Vice-President of Bharat, inaugurating the recent AINEC conference in New Delhi. During that period, he said many editors suffered imprisonment, may had to pay security; in all those day, therefore, the contribution which the Indian Press made cannot be regarded as inconsiderable in any sense of the term.