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Research Report

Kashmir:: From Persistence to Progress?

Cyrus Samii
Copyright Date: Aug. 1, 2005
Pages: 24

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. None)
  3. (pp. i-ii)
  4. (pp. 1-1)

    The sustainment of a revitalized peace process between India and Pakistan since January 2004 has piqued hopes about the prospects of resolving the Kashmir conflict. Such a resolution would be a dramatic accomplishment indeed. Upon independence in 1947, India and Pakistan placed conflicting claims on the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). As a result, 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.¹ The people of J&K have suffered a division of the territory into Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir (IJK) and...

  5. (pp. 1-5)

    The Indo-Pak peace process was formally reinitiated in the form of a “composite dialogue” through a joint press statement issued at the end of the January 2004 SAARC summit in Islamabad. In the statement, Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf expressed confidence “that the resumption of the composite dialogue will lead to peaceful settlement of all bilateral issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, to the satisfaction of both sides.” The Islamabad declaration came after seven years of sporadic attempts at peace interspersed by bouts of turmoil. Those past attempts collapsed violently and abruptly with an armed...

  6. (pp. 5-10)

    It is clear that an opportunity has come about since January 2004, but this opportunity could easily fade if the sources of the Kashmir conflict’s intractability are not addressed. A number of problems have contributed to the conflict’s persistence, manifested in the heightened risk of escalation in the Indo-Pak dispute and the simmering insurgency in IJK since 1989. Some of these problems have to do with the type of attention paid to the issue, while other problems derive from Kashmiri leaders’ inability to organize to advance collective Kashmiri interests in the peace process. Even if proper attention is paid and...

  7. (pp. 10-13)

    The opportunities and sources of intractability described above set the terms for future steps in the peace process. Steps can be taken to consolidate already-achieved gains in the peace process, particularly those associated with restoring cross-LoC ties. These actions should aim to enhance ownership by the people of IJK and AJK in bringing about normalcy to their lives. By doing so, a positive dynamic could be developed in IJK and AJK. This positive dynamic will open space to address the problems posed by Kashmiri political fragmentation, layered commitment problems in IJK, reputational fears, continued militancy-related violence in IJK, and strategic...

  8. (pp. 13-13)

    As this report has argued, good reason exists to believe that an extraordinary opportunity is at hand to make progress in addressing the Kashmir conflict. Of course, conflict resolution processes tend to go through stages that include creation of a space for cooperation, work toward a settlement, implementation of the settlement, and active monitoring and consolidation of the settlement. Despite the positive developments since the January 2004 Islamabad Declaration, the disputants in IJK, AJK, India, and Pakistan are still working on the first stage and just planning for the second. Even if conditions have combined to create an extraordinary opportunity,...

  9. (pp. 18-18)