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India has shown restraint to avoid conflict with Pakistan: Schaffer    2007-12-29 07:30:04    

Washington, Dec 29 : India has shown restraint in the last four years and will go to great lengths to avoid risking conflict with Pakistan, noted South Asian expert Teresita Schaffer has said.
India has shown restraint in the last four years and will go to great lengths to avoid risking conflict with Pakistan, noted South Asian expert Teresita Schaffer has said.

There has been major violence in places like Mumbai and Varanasi; a train was blown up; and in all these cases, the Indian government did not take action against Pakistan, she said.

"So I think that for the time being, the risk of conflict over Jammu and Kashmir is low," said Schaffer when asked about the implications for Pakistan's relations with India, particularly regarding Jammu and Kashmir by the readers of the New York Times (NYT).

However - there is basically no chance of a breakthrough in settlement efforts over Kashmir at present, she added.

The governments of India and Pakistan, for different reasons, are too weak to propose major policy changes. So this could raise the frustration factor for Pakistan, which could lead to an increase in violence, Schaffer claimed.

Commenting on how to stop extremism, militancy, and suicide bombings in Pakistan, she said: "I believe that violent extremism poses a mortal danger to the Pakistani state, and in order to stop it you need a government with the firmness to act and the political legitimacy to keep the people behind it while it acts.

"This means that you need credible elections. I don't think the elections can be held on schedule. That is only 11 days away, and the elections were well on their way to being stolen," Schaffer added.

She said that a delay for a month or so would allow things to settle down in Pakistan after Benazir Bhutto's assassination.

Schaffer added that delay in elections would also allow the government to tackle some of the problems with the elections, such as finding acceptable people to fill the vacancies on the Election Commission and putting neutral people in charge of the local administration. (ANI)
© 2007 ANI

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