New Delhi, Aug.19 : Two Indian media stalwarts are of the view that with the departure of President Pervez Musharraf from the corridors of power in Pakistan, a vaccuum has emerged in subcontinental politics and diplomacy.
They say that though Musharraf's legacy as regards India is mixed, the general feeling among Indians is that he facilitated relative peace in Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan region claimed by both countries.
"He was India's best bet in Pakistan. We will miss Musharraf," said A.G. Noorani, a constitutional lawyer and Kashmir expert. If he had not fired his judges and gotten bogged down in domestic dramas, I believe we would have been able to make a significant breakthrough in a peace deal in Kashmir today," he added.
Bharat Bhushan, the Editor of the Mail Today, endorsed this view by saying that "Musharraf was a one-man go-to guy in Pakistan. Now who do we speak to? These are very uncertain times."
The Indian government has reacted cautiously to the news that Musharraf had quit.
"We have no comments to make on the resignation of President Musharraf of Pakistan," it said in a statement. "This is an internal matter of Pakistan," it added.
According to a Washington Post Foreign Service report, some Indians prefer a military leader in Pakistan, fearing that a civilian might not have enough clout with the military or the intelligence services, which many in India see as the most powerful institutions in Pakistan.