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Letter from Kashmir

After the earthquake, the one glimmer of hope was that India and Pakistan might hasten their reconciliation. Sadly, they're still squabbling

By Simon Long   December 2005

It was an easy mistake. The Ukrainian helicopter crew was blameless. The map co-ordinates provided by the UN in Islamabad were slightly awry. One remote valley in this terrain looks much like another—conifer-studded hillsides, streaked with landslide scars. The helicopter was supposed to take a group of UN officials and journalists to the earthquake-devastated village of Chinari in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Instead, it landed a few miles away on one of the Indian army’s helipads, on the wrong side of the line of control (LoC) that divides Kashmir in the absence of an agreed international border.

Not long ago, this could…

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