False Dichotomies

Archive for May 16th, 2011

The World is What it Is

In just over a month’s time I hope to be in Kashmir. Specifically, I’ll be in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. There’s also the Pakistani-administered Gilgit-Baltistan and the Azad Kashmir provinces, and the Chinese-administered regions of Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract. The Indian and Pakistani areas are divided by the Line of Control, which was the staging post for insurgents during the bitter conflict that flared up during the 1990s. If I try and cross the Line of Control, I am likely to be shot by Pakistani soldiers. If I bring a Kashmiri from south of the Line of Control, in order to help him go and see his ancestral home of Muzaffarabad, I am still likely to be shot by Pakistani soldiers. If I bring hundreds of people with me, my chances of being shot by Pakistani soldiers will increase exponentially. And if I were to do that, who do you think my mother would blame? A clue: it wouldn’t be the Pakistani soldiers. Read more