Diplomacy: The Judgment of Rann

In April, after 18 years of diplomatic bickering over coveted Kashmir (pop. 4,000,000), India and Pakistan came within a hairbreadth of an all-out shooting war over the uninhabited waste of salt flats and pink sand called the Rann of Kutch. Last week, as abruptly as the conflict had flared, both sides signed a cautious cease-fire agreement by which the two countries are to withdraw their troops over a seven-day period from the 8,000 sq. mi. of disputed territory on the Arabian Sea.

The pact was patiently worked out by British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and finally accepted as binding by Pakistan's...

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