IPI HomePublicationsPolicy PapersKashmir: From Persistence to Progress?

 

print print  |  share share back back

Policy Papers - August 14, 2005

Kashmir: From Persistence to Progress?

Cyrus Samii

 

 

From the Executive Summary: Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has been a continual bone of contention, the object of three wars and a theater of engagement in a fourth war, between the two countries.

Since 1989, insurgency has consumed Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir (IJK), claiming at least 45,000 lives.

All major attempts at resolution by the international community have failed, including those through the United Nations. With overt “nuclearization” by India and Pakistan in 1998, and with “jihadist” militants playing an increasingly prominent role in the insurgency since the mid-1990s, the Kashmir conflict also bears the marks of a distinctly twenty-first century security predicament.    

The revitalized peace process between India and Pakistan has piqued hopes about the prospects of resolving the Kashmir conflict. A number of tangible developments have provided grounds for some optimism.
    
But the opportunity could easily fade if the sources of the Kashmir conflict’s intractability are not addressed. For both India and Pakistan, political engagement has been either desultory or weak and has provided little strategic guidance. Kashmiri separatists suffer from political fragmentation, partly due to interference by New Delhi and Islamabad, partly due to local-level political gamesmanship.         
  
Addressing the sources of intractability is necessary to build a foundation for durable peace. New Delhi and Islamabad will have to come to terms with the legitimacy of separatist and independence demands. On the IJK–New Delhi axis, checks and balances institutions would have to be fashioned to guarantee provisions restoring IJK’s autonomy. Such institutions may also be necessary to deal with communal tensions at the district level within IJK. India and Pakistan should consider verification mechanisms to overcome their mutual distrust, allow for Indian troop withdrawal, and verify a proactive Pakistani clampdown on militants in AJK. International actors can assist by increasing the pool of resources contributing to a peace dividend, especially by investing in transportation and local agriculture and industrial development.

The Global Observatory

Overlooked Among 50 Million Displaced Worldwide, Women and Girls Lose Out
Women affected by forced displacement still struggle to access the most basic services, but some initiatives offer useful lessons for the UN and NGO communities.

Key Global Events to Watch in October
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

October 09, 2014
Rethinking Women and Forced Migration
The drastic increase in conflicts around the globe has seen the world’s displaced population pass 55 million people, and the fact that 80% of them are women and children is prompting many to rethink how the international community is responding.

October 09, 2014
Africa: China’s Second Continent
Speaking at an IPI Distinguished Author Series event on October 9th, author Howard French made a case for how Western underestimation of Africa’s economic promise has enabled China to establish an economic and human presence on the continent, leading to the permanent migration there of nearly 2 million Chinese.

September 30, 2014
Vike-Freiberga: Rethinking the United Nations
In a speech delivered at IPI on September 30th, Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga gave a sobering historical analysis of the gains and setbacks made by the international system over the past century and, focusing on the UN, she called for a rethinking of the organization’s structure and approach to peace.

View More