Debate whether India or Pakistan should have control of Kashmir.
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The only valid criteria for deciding "who should control Kashmir" are, what the people of Kashmir want, and what is in their best interests.
As things stands today, there is no clear indication of what the people of Kashmir want. So a decision cannot be taken on that basis. Then, if the decision is to be based on the interest of the Kashmiri people, becoming a part of India is definitely better than becoming a part of Pakistan. There are two main advantages for the Kashmiris to join India..
First, comparing the past record of economic and social development, India definitely offers better prospects than Pakistan.The economic development in India has been much faster than in Pakistan. In addition, people have greater personal freedom. Pakistan has experienced may political instabilities, and dictatorial rule by military personnel who seized power by force, and adopted many oppressive practices to keep themselves in power.
The second benefit will be a more progressive society. This means equal status and opportunities for people of all religion, and also greater developed social systems of people of every religion, in line with technological, economical and social challenges of the twenty first century, characterized by rapid globalization. The past record of Pakistan in this respect has been very poor. Pakistan is officially a Muslim country while India is a secular country. Also, the Hindus living in Pakistan have been severely discriminated against. This indicates to a very high probability that Hindus will face major major set backs by choosing to join Pakistan.
The Muslims will also suffer by missing the opportunity of moving ahead with time, rather than being tied down to the ritualistic aspects of their religion. A better alternative will be for them to concentrate on the core valus of their religion rather be preoccupied with rigid ritualistic practices. India offers better opportunities for such development.
"Control" is an illusion. Governments come and go. The ones that stay do so due to good governance. Right of governance should go to th better qualified. The debate needs to on "what" kashmir needs rather than "who". Kashmir needs stability, progress and rule of law. An apple to apple comparison would reveal that neither India nor pakistan quaify in that respect. Bring in UN peacekeepers and agree to withdraw in a phased manner.
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