This Day 25 years ago with FPJ: Chavan's faux pas

Whether or not the Indian Government was in a position to furnish concrete proof of the United State's overt or covert encouragement of Pakistan to destabilise Kashmir, opinion shall remain divided on the wisdom of the Union Home Minister in naming the US as 'a third party' interested in fomenting trouble in the Valley. In normal circumstances, one expected the Indian Government to stop short of naming a friendly nation as the mischief-maker unless it had lost all hope of mending matters with it. By no means it has been suggested that India is not interested in establishing war ties of friendship and co-operation with the world's biggest power. Not to name Pakistan as the chief source of insurrection in the Valley would have been an act of extreme irresponsibility. S.B Chavan and other senior members of the Indian Government have often given vent to their exasperation with our troublesome neighbour. But to name the US is an altogether different matter and we wish Chavan had not done that. Responding to the debate in the Lok Sabha the other day on the motion to extend President's rule in Jammu and Kashmir, Chavan declared that India was in a position to deal with Pakistan 'as it had done earlier', but it did not know what to do with 'a third party' which, was according to him, interested in an independent Kashmir.

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