The PM to be, L.K.Odd-vani is a great movie buff and like most stereotypical Hindi film characters is a hopeless blusterer. In last many posts I had talked about his and BJP's poll strategy of passing the Indo-Pak friendship lollypop to the minorities and the feel-good lollypop to the majority urban masses. This, he hopes, can work wonders. So founded is his view that he has started talking about its eno-effect to the Ayodhya and Kashmir issue in a single go. Ayodhya he says will be solved in a jiffy after the elections and the cricket-diplomacy will woe the Muslim janata at home to keep mum while they build the Ram temple, exactly where they want to (and the non-partisan media has fueled this feeling), and the Muslims on the other side of the LOC will gleefully surrender POK to India. If the record of Indian wins in limited over cricket over Pakistan were not dismal he would perhaps have solved the Kashmir Issue on the basis of who wins the rubber.

I wonder what keeps people from reckoning the real facts. Vir Sanghvi said in his recent column that Mian Musharraf's recurrent Kashmir-is-the-core-issue rhetoric is but natural, considering the military-man-at-the core he is. A man trained to fight Indians cannot shed his true skin overnight. Kashmir is the issue on which Indian and Paki hukmarans have been carrying their bread and butter on. In the breeze of friendship-series Sanghvi however has been too greedy to predict that the current atmosphere is an indication that the two countries will be bhai-bhai again, if we just neglect the General. I have not an iota of doubt that the atmosphere of disbelief and hatred are born out of the diplomatic measures, this is what politicians want. But it also doesn't mean that Kashmir issue can be solved in 6 seconds. Former Army Chief Gen S Padmanabhan has been belligerent, but much more practical in his book where he predicts only a military solution to the problem.

My clear view on this is: either India goes ahead for a closed-door talk with Pakistan (the very way it is progressing with China, an NDTV report had indicated few months back that China was negotiating a secret deal to lay hands on some portion of Indian territory of Aksai Chin in lieu of Sikkim being regarded as integral part of India), media has ruined many a summits, and decide on the LOC being converted to International border and end this once and for all or put a full stop to this friendship drama and fight it out. The latter would demand guts on part of India to “checkmate the US”, as Padmanabhan puts it, which, I am sorry to say, we never had.