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Posted at: Jul 21, 2019, 6:55 AM; last updated: Jul 21, 2019, 6:55 AM (IST)

Kashmir, for Pak’s record!

Jug Suraiya
JUST JUGGLERY
Jug Suraiya
Kashmir, for Pak’s record!
Illustration: Sandeep Joshi

Jug Suraiya

Following the terror attack at Pulwama and the retaliatory Balakot airstrike, India-Pakistan relations have hit a new low. In an unsolicited effort to help matters, Just Jugglery asked for, and was granted, a telephonic interview with Pakistan’s Minister for Indian Affairs, or MIA.

Just Jugglery: Tell me, Minister sahib, apart from a Minister for External Affairs, Pakistan also has a Minister for Indian Affairs, or MIA.  Does this mean that India occupies a very important place in Pakistan’s international relations?

MIA: India must resolve the long-standing dispute about Kashmir.  

JJ: Quite so. But Kashmir apart, nothing can be resolved until and unless Pakistan shows, not only to India but to the world at large, that it is serious about curbing cross-border terrorism. Doesn’t Islamabad see that?

MIA: India must resolve the long-standing dispute about Kashmir.

JJ: Yes, I heard you loud and clear the first time. But let’s talk about cross-border terrorism.  What’s Pakistan doing to stop that?

MIA: India must resolve the long-standing dispute about Kashmir.

JJ: That’s all very well.  But Pakistan closed its airspace following the Balakot airstrike, which itself was a result of the Pulwama terror attack, and has only just opened it after 138 days of closure.  Do you think such a long closure was warranted?

MIA: India must resolve the long-standing dispute about Kashmir.

JJ: Listen, the airspace ban meant that westbound flights from India and eastbound flights from Pakistan had to make long detours, burning up lots and lots of costly aviation fuel, and incurring huge losses of thousands of crores of rupees, which neither country can afford — particularly not Pakistan, what with its economy in a complete mess and Islamabad being one step away from total bankruptcy. Aren’t you guys worried about the state of your country’s finances which are so bad that you’ve had to go to the International Monetary Fund to bail you out with a loan of $5 billion which no one knows how you’ll ever manage to repay?

MIA: India must resolve the long-standing dispute about Kashmir.

JJ: Look, we seem to keep going round and round in circles. Can’t we talk about something else, just for a change? How about progress? Or development? Or the eradication of poverty? Any of those things grab you? 

MIA: India must resolve the long-standing dispute about Kashmir.  

JJ: Jeez.  Kashmir, Kashmir, Kashmir.  It’s as if that’s the only word in your entire vocabulary. Why don’t you, just for once, as an experiment if you like, try talking about something, anything, else?

MIA: India must resolve the long-standing dispute about Kashmir.

JJ: Tell you what. To distract your mind from its monomaniacal obsession with Kashmir, let’s talk about something totally different. How about cricket?

MIA: India must resolve the long-standing dispute about Kashmir.  

JJ: I give up. It’s pointless trying to have any kind of meaningful dialogue with you. You sound like a stuck record. I’m hanging up. 

(Hangs up the phone receiver).

MIA: India must resolve the long-standing dispute about Kashmir.  End of recorded message.  End of recorded message.  End of recorded…  

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