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

In Light of Scottish Referendum, What Future for Frustrated Secessionists?
As secessionist movements proliferate around the world, a look at what leads some to succeed and others to fail.

Key Global Events to Watch in September
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

September 25, 2014
Estonian President: Russia’s Actions Threaten International System
On September 25th, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia warned that Russia’s recent aggression in Ukraine is a threat to the norms of the international system as we know them, and that it may lead to a drastic reassessment of foreign policy priorities in Europe.

September 22, 2014
Kevin Rudd, Former Australian PM, to Chair Independent Commission on Multilateralism
Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, will chair the newly launched Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM). The Commission will be co-chaired by Børge Brende, Foreign Minister of Norway, and John Baird, Foreign Minister of Canada.

September 22, 2014
IPI Hosts Ministers, Officials at Annual Mideast Dinner
On Monday, September 22nd, IPI held its Ninth Ministerial Dinner on the Middle East in its Trygve Lie Center for Peace, Security, and Development. The working dinner saw the participation of foreign ministers and other high-level representatives from the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and beyond.

View More