A photo-Finnish

Finland thinks third party mediation can solve Kashmir. Let’s talk about this over reindeer steak in Helsinki.

Peaceniks have a genuine problem, they suffer from congenital agitation when they spot a trouble zone. Take for example the Scandinavians, the do-gooders-in-chief of the world. The moment they spot a troubled mass of humanity, they dart across and offer their services (and funds) as mediators. Whether you like them or not, never underestimate Scandinavian mediators: these good, doughty souls are even okay with taking couple of blows from both sides for the sake of an ‘accord’. So we were not surprised to hear Finnish Foreign Minister, Alexander Stubb, advocate third party mediation in Kashmir. He did not exactly say that the Finns want the job, but we did detect a certain undertone of ‘don’t hesitate to drop us a line if the backyard’s heating up a bit too much’ in his words.

Why are the Scandinavians such indefatigable do-gooders? While we, in less fortunate parts of the world, are busy fighting our own battles, they seem to have no problems at all. Look at their line-up: the Norwegians in West Asia and Sri Lanka, the Danes in the biggest of the world crises, climate change and now, the Finns expressing their interest in India. Um, could it be the sunny beaches of Lanka, the diversity of India or the adrenaline-pumping politics of Pakistan?

But like in all jobs, we will need to do some background checks. And what do we have? The Oslo Accord didn’t go down too well with the Norwegians being called “Israel’s helpful errand boy”. In Lanka, all mediation was put to rest with the president mowing down the LTTE. The climate change summit hardly managed to cool down the world. A Kashmir solution no doubt will look good on Finland’s CV, but we’ve no vacancies. Not a Finn-Finn situation at present.


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