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Old Saturday, July 09, 2005
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Default Jammu And Kashmir Dispute

Kashmir: a new strategy
By Shahid Javed Burki(Dawn 5 july,2005)

THE Saturday issue of the Financial Times usually carries an interview with a celebrity over lunch paid for by the newspaper. On June 25, Jo Johnson, the newspaper’s new correspondent for South Asia, wrote about his conversation with Imran Khan in Islamabad’s Serena Hotel. The current effort by the leadership of India and Pakistan to find a solution to the problem of Kashmir was one of the several subjects covered by the cricketer-turned-politician.

His views on the way Islamabad under President Pervez Musharraf is approaching the issue of Kashmir are based on a serious misunderstanding of the reasons why Pakistan should look for a way out of the Kashmir conundrum.

“Lamenting a recent Washington Times cartoon that portrayed Pakistan as a dog being patted by an approving US soldier, Imran says there is despair at Pakistan’s enslavement to the US; like other hardliners, he sees Pakistan’s recent flexibility in the search for a solution to the Kashmir problem, which would bring peace with India, as a self-administered thrashing supervised by the US, a humiliating ‘capitulation’”, wrote Johnson. “Imran, in other words, is tapping into anti-US sentiment at its most inflammatory.”

It is not helpful for a well informed politician to see the search for a solution to the problem of Kashmir in terms of self-humiliation being inflicted by Islamabad in response to Washington’s pressure. It is no doubt in the interest of the United States to cool the long-enduring passions between India and Pakistan and to remove one of the many reasons for the growing power of Islamists in a country such as Pakistan. It is even more important to appreciate that a solution to the Kashmir problem secured on terms different from those Pakistan has sought for a long time is in Pakistan’s own interests.

We have already paid a very heavy price for continuing with this struggle the end result of which is the failure to develop the country economically and socially at a pace which could bring economic relief to the suffering masses. It is this trade-off between the struggle for Kashmir and improving Pakistan’s economy and providing an opportunity for the country’s citizens that I am exploring in this series of articles.

In the article last week, I suggested that Pakistan has incurred a heavy price for the continuing conflict over Kashmir. The cost to it of keeping the dispute alive is much greater than that incurred by India. Some of the costs associated with this dispute are not readily apparent; one of these is the resurgence of extremist Islam. That was the subject of last week’s article.

That Pakistan became an important centre for the activities of the groups that advocated a radical and fundamentalist Islam would have happened even without the Kashmir problem. This form of Islam gained ground in Pakistan over several decades and for a variety of reasons that included opportunism on the part of leaders such as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and opportunism combined with zealotry on the part of General Ziaul-Haq.

Nonetheless, Kashmir provided an opportunity for the Islamists to continue to gain strength in the country. It became the raison d’etre not only for their existence but for their increasing popularity.

The economic cost of the Kashmir conflict to Pakistan, the smaller economy compared to that of India, was also considerably higher. It is useful to develop some appreciation of this cost — no matter how rough such an estimate may be — in order to inform the Pakistani people and its political establishment whether it was prudent to pay such a heavy price for this conflict. I will undertake that exercise next week. However, before estimating the overall economic costs of the Kashmir conflict, it would be useful to briefly review how military doctrine and preparedness has evolved in India and Pakistan.

According to the World Bank’s estimates military expenditure in Pakistan in 2002 was equivalent to 4.5 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product, somewhat higher than the estimates provide by the government in the ‘Economic Survey, 2003-04’ and the budget speech for 2005-06. For India, the proportion was much lower, at 2.6 per cent. Over the last 10 years — from 1992 to 2002 — the proportion of GDP committed to military expenditures by the two countries moved in the opposite direction. In the case of India, the expenditure increased from 2.3 per cent to 2.6 per cent. In Pakistan’s case the expenditure was brought down quite significantly, from 6.1 per cent to 4.5 per cent.

These changes not only reflected economic reality but also different roles the countries wished to play in world affairs. India now had developed global ambitions and wished to project itself not only as regional power but a near superpower. As such it decided to spend on weapon systems that were not strictly relevant for its conflict with Pakistan but met the imperatives of a near-global power. Pakistan, on the other hand, continued to focus on the rivalry with India in the context of the Kashmir problem. At the same time it had to contend with a progressively weakening economy.

In 1992, India spent $6.49 billion on its military. The corresponding amount for Pakistan was $2.8 billion. At that time, the Indian expenditure was 2.3 times that of Pakistan while the size of its economy was 6.6 times as large. This situation changed quite dramatically in the next 10 years. The ratio between economic size and military expenditure for Pakistan was 2.87. While the Indian military expenditure nearly doubled, increasing to $12.87 billion by 2002, expenditure by Pakistan declined to $2.5 billion.

By that time, the gap between the Indian and Pakistani economies widened as a result of the much higher rate of growth in India. Between 1992 and 2002, the Indian GDP increased at the average annual rate of 5.8 per cent while that of Pakistan grew by only 3.6 per cent a year.

Consequently, in 2002, the Indian economy was 8.1 times larger than that of Pakistan’s. At the same time, India’s military expenditure was 5.1 times the size of Pakistan’s. The ratio was now 2.2 times as large in favour of India. Pakistan no longer had the economic means to keep pace with India’s military build-up. Parity in capability was once the cornerstone of Pakistan’s military strategy. This was no longer feasible.

Another set of numbers underscores the different defence strategies that were being pursued by the two countries as they entered the 21st century. By 2002, the Indians had a military force estimated at 1.3 million personnel compared to Pakistan’s 594,000, a ratio of only 2.2 compared to a ratio of 5.1 in total military expenditures. The size of the Indian military force was now increasing at only 0.3 per cent a year. While Pakistan was also increasing the number of people in uniform — by an estimated 0.2 per cent a year — the total amount of military expenditure had declined by a significant amount. The Indians were now relying on the capital-intensive approach to defence by equipping their military with heavy equipment.

This was more in line with the approaches followed by such other major military powers as the United States and China. In 2002, the Indians spent $9.8 million per person in uniform. Pakistan’s approach, on the other hand, was much more “labour intensive”. By 2002, it was spending only $4.3 million per person in uniform, or less than 43 per cent of the Indian outlay.

These numbers tell a clear story. New Delhi had decided to use its greater economic muscle acquired in the decade of economic reforms to develop a larger military capability and to do it by spending more on equipment. There was a qualitative change in the Indian military strategy. It no longer saw itself as a country with one major threat — from Pakistan, its northern neighbour — but in terms of a major global power that needed to project its growing military presence way beyond its borders.

For Pakistan, however, defence strategy remained focused on what it perceived as the Indian threat. That notwithstanding, it was becoming clear to the defence planners of Islamabad that given the serious weakening of the economy it was no longer feasible to engage in a full throttle arms race with its neighbour that was now making impressive economic advances.

Now that the rate of economic growth has picked up in Pakistan — in 2004-2005, it was estimated at 8.4 per cent increase in GDP over the estimate for 2003-04. This was higher rate of growth than that of India. With this palpable improvement in the economic situation there will be some temptation to spend an increasing amount on defence. This has begun to happen. The budget for 2005-06 has increased the outlay on the military by 15 per cent in nominal terms, from Rs.194 billion ($3.25 billion) budgeted for 2004-05 to Rs. 223.5 billion ($3.75 billion).

There will also be a sharp increase on equipment as the country begins to re-equip its air force with the coveted F 16s fighter planes. In March 2005, the administration of President George W. Bush reversed the stance of previous White House administrations and announced that it would no longer embargo the sale of these aircraft to Pakistan. There are also indications that Pakistan is entering into various arrangements with China to build sophisticated weapons, including fighter planes, in the country. The recent easing of economic constraints may result in reversing the strategy the military adopted during periods of economic stress to gain strength by relying on the jihadis.

During that time the Pakistani military evolved a two pronged military strategy. First, it chose to rely on the jihadi groups to counter the growing disparity between its military strength and that of India. As a consequence, a new theory of military preparedness began to evolve in Pakistan, supported in part by the extraordinary success of the Afghan resistance in the 1980s fighting the Soviet occupation of their country. Since Pakistan — in particular its main intelligence service, the Inter-Intelligence Service, the ISI — was deeply engaged in that enterprise, the country’s military strategists drew the conclusion that they could use the same tactics against the Indian threat. The jihadi groups, therefore, became an essential part of Pakistan’s military doctrine.

Second, the military invested heavily in equipping itself with a nuclear arsenal and a delivery system that could carry atomic weapons to some of the population and economic centres of India. While the concept of nuclear deterrence against India was authored by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1974, right after India tested its first nuclear device, it was readily bought by the Rawalpindi military establishment once it became clear that it was no longer feasible to balance India’s rapidly growing and improving conventional capability.

Pakistan today stands at another cross-road in its turbulent history. Should it jeopardize its economic revival by re-engaging itself once again in Kashmir as it did in the mid-1960s, or spend its resources and the energy of its government on economic growth and poverty alleviation? Before answering this question it would be useful to estimate the economic cost that has already been incurred by pursuing the type of approach that politicians such as Imran Khan would have Islamabad follow. I will cover the subject of the economic cost of the Kashmir problem next week.
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Default Cost and gain of Kashmir

Cost and gain of Kashmir
By Shahid Javed Burki (Dawn 28 june,2005)

WITH this article I am returning to the issue of Kashmir on which I began to write three weeks ago. In the first article of this series that appeared in this space on June 7, I suggested that the time has come for both Pakistan and India to move beyond the strategies they have pursued for nearly six decades to produce a result that was satisfactory for them. In the language of economics, Islamabad and Delhi generally followed the “zero-sum game”, a game according to which what one side would gain the other side would necessarily lose. This has not worked.

What is likely to succeed is a “plus-sum” strategy in which both sides lose a bit but gain a great deal more. In the articles that will appear for the next few weeks, I will demonstrate that such an approach is more beneficial for Pakistan since keeping the Kashmir issue alive has cost it considerably more than the social, political and economic costs paid by India.

It is at times useful to deploy the methodology often used by the historians who practise “counter-factual” analytical techniques to gauge the impact of the developments that might have happened differently or not happened at all. This technique is particularly useful in determining both qualitatively and quantitatively the impact on India and Pakistan had they not sustained their dispute over Kashmir for such a long time.

What would have happened to these countries — in fact to all of South Asia — had Kashmir not become an all-consuming problem draining both energy and capital away from the areas that needed the attention of the two governments? An answer to this question requires a rough measure of the various kinds of costs for the two countries associated with the Kashmir dispute.

“The obvious objection to such hypothetical or ‘counterfactual’ questions is simple: why bother to ask them? Why concern ourselves with what didn’t happen? ... It seems we cannot resist imagining the alternative scenarios: what might have happened, if only we had or had not ... We picture ourselves as avoiding past blunders, or committing blunders we narrowly avoided, “ writes Niall Ferguson, one of the most articulate exponents of this form of analysis.

He continues: “Of course, we know that perfectly well that we cannot travel back in time and do things differently. But the business of imagining such counterfactuals is a vital part of the way in which we learn. Because decisions about the future are — usually — based on weighing up the potential consequences of alternative courses of action, it makes sense to compare the actual outcomes of what we did in the past with the conceivable outcomes of what we might have done.”

The long-enduring Kashmir dispute lends itself very well to this kind of analysis. What would have happened had the British treated the princely states the way they treated the provinces they directly administered and partitioned them on the basis of religion as well? That way Kashmir with a vast majority of its population professing the Muslim faith would have automatically become part of Pakistan. The same would have been the case with the state of Hyderabad whose ruler, the Nizam, toyed with the idea of independence until the Indian government sent in its troops and had him change his mind.

It is true that one part of Kashmir — the area of Jammu — had a large Hindu population. This could have been handled as well by partitioning the state into two parts, a Muslim Kashmir and a Hindu Jammu as was done with the provinces of Bengal and Punjab. This way the problem of Kashmir could have been avoided. A more suspicious reading of the intentions of the departing British administration suggests that they deliberately left some unresolved issues in order to be called upon to adjudicate between the successor states of India and Pakistan. That way the British could retain some influence over the area they had controlled for almost 200 years.

Both India and Pakistan have already paid a heavy price for not being able to resolve the problem of Kashmir. Costs were incurred not just in economic terms — the expenditure of resources on the militaries in the two countries that could have been put to better economic and social use. These costs and the amounts of foregone benefits are not too difficult to estimate. What is more difficult to quantify, particularly for Pakistan, is the overall cost to society. There is no doubt that the Kashmir dispute has seriously affected Pakistan’s social and political development.

Islamabad’s policymakers were tempted to use Islamic zeal as one way of putting pressure on India over Kashmir. After the success of the jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and after the demonstration that an inspired group of reasonably trained warriors could defeat even a superpower, it was tempting for strategists in Pakistan to allow the same tactics to be used in Kashmir.

Steve Coll, who studied the use of the jihadist approach in Afghanistan and the lessons learned by the Pakistani military establishment from its seeming success has, drawn a number of interesting conclusions about Islamabad’s handling of the Kashmir problem. He maintains in his recent book that the temptation offered for the use of jihad as a weapon against the Indian occupation of Kashmir was difficult to resist for the Pakistani military establishment.

“Every Pakistani general, liberal or religious, believed in the jihadists by 1999 not from personal conviction, in most cases, but because the jihadists had proved themselves over many years as the force able to frighten, flummox, and bog down the Hindu-dominated Indian army. About a dozen Indian divisions had been tied up in Kashmir during the late 1990s to suppress a few thousand well-trained, paradise-seeking Islamist guerrillas. What more could Pakistan ask? The jihadist guerrillas were a more practical day-to-day strategic defence against Indian hegemony than even a nuclear bomb.”

However, the infrastructure needed to produce jihadists proved corrosive for Pakistani society, a development not appreciated at that time by those who developed the strategy. As it turned out, a heavy price was paid for the reliance on groups whose members were deeply committed to Islamic fundamentalism. Often under official patronage, these groups began to penetrate Pakistani society and also its political system. One consequence of this was the political gains made by Islamists in recent years. The unanticipated success of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, (MMA) was a direct product of the support some of their constituent parts had provided to various Islamic causes around the globe and the position they had taken against the United States in the latter’s war against international terrorism.

Not only did the MMA gain at the national level, which was an unprecedented development for Islamic parties in the country, the alliance was also able to form a government led by it in the (the NWFP) and to become a prominent partner in the multi-party government in Balochistan. Both the NWFP and Balochistan border on Afghanistan. It is in this border area that the remnants of the Taliban continue to be active. This has happened in spite of the victory of the American-led coalition in December 2001 over Kabul and its success in installing a government in Afghanistan that is not only sympathetic to Washington but is highly appreciative of the role the United States had played in bringing about regime change in the country.

The political success of the forces of Islam to which the strategy pursued in Kashmir by a succession of administrations in Islamabad was the visible part of the change that occurred. Another development — perhaps even more profound than the electoral success of the MMA — was taking place below the surface as large segments of the Pakistani population came to be converted to an interpretation of Islam with which they were not very familiar. This happened as a result of the series of measures adopted by the administration of President Ziaul Haq. This trend was given impetus by the establishment of hundreds of Saudi funded madressahs that taught the Salafist interpretation of Islam, and was kept alive by the struggle over Kashmir. Another “what if...?” question would help to understand how certain developments and several actions taken in the 1980s and 1990s had unintended consequences. These concern the dominant role played by President Ziaul Haq for 11 years in Pakistan’s political life and the support he provided to various jihadist causes including those in Afghanistan and Kashmir. Had that not happened the austere, Salafist Islam that has penetrated several segments of the Pakistani society would not have arrived in Pakistan with such force and the country would have continued on the path of modernization on which it embarked President Ayub Khan’s 11 years.

Although Pakistan’s first military ruler named the new capital he built Islamabad and added Islamic Republic to Pakistan’s name as was done by the framers of the 1956 Pakistan, he was keen to introduce social change aimed at weaning society away from some of the practices that the Salafists fully endorsed. Ayub Khan’s emphasis on population planning and family laws ordinance went against the grain of the Islamists who had established their sway over the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The full realization of the threat militant Islam posed to Pakistan’s security came in December 2003 when there were two attempts on President Pervez Musharraf’s life in Rawalpindi, the seat of the Pakistani army. That the president was attacked in Rawalpindi suggested that there may have been some involvement at some level by military personnel. The military indicated as much by putting on trial two of its officials and sentencing one of them to death for his involvement in the assassination attempt.

By the early months of 2004, General Musharraf had begun to declare that among the many problems he faced as Pakistan’s president, by far the most important was the threat posed by Islamic extremism. He was also now making the connection between the Kashmir problem and this threat since its continuation provided the Islamic groups with the raison d’etre for their operations.

While Pakistan was to pay a heavy price for allowing Islamic fundamentalism penetrate society, at one point in time reliance on it had become an integral part of the country’s defence strategy. India did not incur this kind of cost. India’s Kashmir war, fought on conventional basis, did not affect its society or the country’s political system. India was not scarred as badly by the long enduring insurrection in Kashmir. The fact that Kashmir is distant from the main population centres of the country has also kept the conflict in Kashmir at some distance from Indian society. That did not happen in Pakistan.
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Default Kashmir trap: a way out

Kashmir trap: a way out
By Shahid Javed Burki
(Dawn 7 june,2005)

IN spite of the efforts made by India and Pakistan to improve their relations following the pledge made in April 2003 by Atal Behari Vajpayee, the then Indian prime minister, to bring lasting peace to South Asia by extending a “hand of friendship” to Pakistan, not much progress has been made in resolving the issue. Several high-level meetings and one more summit have been held since then but the two South Asian countries have failed to define the scope and depth of a new relationship.

In these discussions, as on many previous occasions, India and Pakistan have taken two very different positions in attempting to resolve their differences. The Indians want to focus on improving contacts between the two countries. They want to see an easy movement of people across the borders, not just across the established boundaries but also across the Line of Control that divides the two parts of Kashmir. New Delhi would also like to see more cultural exchanges and has offered to take Pakistani students and Pakistani patients into their admittedly better universities and hospitals.

The Pakistan government has adopted a different approach. It is fearful that these efforts are meant to deflect attention from Kashmir in the “composite dialogue” the two countries have initiated and engaged in with not much consequence. Pakistan, more than India, has to deal with the weight of history. In the earlier attempts to bring lasting peace to South Asia — the attempts made in the 1950s and 1960s — Pakistan found that India was not prepared to yield much ground on the Kashmir issue. Its position has not changed in spite of the enormous amount of grief that has been visited upon the region as a result of the Kashmir dispute.

India remains committed to preserving the status quo in Kashmir. Manmohan Singh, the current Indian prime minister, has stated clearly that he does not have the mandate to make adjustments in the country’s boundaries once again on the basis of religion. Pakistan is equally determined to bring about a change in the current status. President Musharraf has talked about dividing the state into seven parts, each representing a distinct ethnic community. “I am not talking about using religion as a basis for settlement but providing autonomy and self-governance to the state’s many ethnic groups. I can identify seven such groups in the state,” he said to me in a conversation in March. These two very different outlooks have resulted in the adoption of different strategies by the two countries to achieve their very different objectives. There was greater consistency on the Indian side. Notwithstanding Article 370 in its constitution, New Delhi has continued with its efforts to make Jammu and Kashmir an integral part of India. That article granted Kashmir a special status within the Indian Union — Kashmir’s own flag, a semi-autonomous executive headed by a prime minister and not a chief minister, and a parliament that could legislate with greater freedom than allowed to state assemblies in other parts of the country. It was the palpable effort by New Delhi to dilute the extent of autonomy granted by the constitution that contributed to the insurgency that began in 1989 and continues to this day.

India has demonstrated that it is prepared to expend large amount of resources, take heavy losses of soldiers and risk its reputation as a peace-loving country to defend its stance. This was done whenever there was a serious challenge to its position in the state. This policy was maintained by governments of different ideological persuasions — by the Congress committed to a secular India and by the Bharatiya Janata Party with interest in moving the country towards a more pronounced Hindu entity. Pakistan, on the other hand, tried a series of different approaches. Four of these are apparent as we go over the history of the dispute.

The first was the path of negotiations. This was attempted by a series of Pakistani leaders, including Liaquat Ali Khan, General Ayub Khan, Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and now General Pervez Musharraf. Little came of these attempts for the reason already discussed: the Indian stance against changing the status quo. The second Pakistani approach was to force a military solution. This was attempted twice; in 1948-49 and in 1965, again with not much success.

The third was to involve the United States in putting pressure on New Delhi to relax its posture. The Americans were uneasy about getting involved in the dispute by taking a posture that was not acceptable to India even when the Indians were closer to Moscow than to Washington. There is now even greater reluctance at this time as relations between India and the United States have improved and Washington is prepared to regard India if not quite as yet a global superpower then at least a regional power of considerable significance.

The more recent approach adopted by Washington with respect to India in general and the Kashmir in particular is detailed by Strobe Talbott in his account of his dialogue with India — in particular Jaswant Singh, then India’s foreign minister — following New Delhi’s decision in May 1998 to test five nuclear bombs. One condition that President Bill Clinton placed on his willingness to meet with Nawaz Sharif to diffuse the tension created by the “Kargil incident” was that he would not get directly involved in the Kashmir dispute. Sharif accepted the American position. It is unlikely that Washington would be prepared to change that stance.

The fourth Pakistani approach was to get Islamic “freedom fighters” involved in the dispute. The first attempt to do this was in 1965 when as a part of what was called “Operation Gibraltar” Pakistan infiltrated mujahideen into Kashmir. Some of them were regular Pakistani soldiers who cast off their uniforms before crossing what was then called the Ceasefire Line. This operation led to a full-scale war between the two countries. That operation failed since the citizens of Kashmir were not prepared to rise against the Indian control.

The more recent insurgency in Kashmir has the support of a large segment of the population of the part of the state controlled by India. The jihadi groups, many of whom are the veterans of the war against the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan and some of whom have been supported by Pakistan, have added a religious dimension to the problem. This has complicated the situation not just in Kashmir but also, by providing these groups a raison d’etre for their activities, for Pakistan. If President Musharraf wishes to challenge these groups as a part of his programme to modernize Pakistan, he will have to rethink his Kashmir strategy.

In his December 30 address to the nation to explain his decision not to retire from the army but to continue to be the head of the armed forces, President Musharraf spent a fair amount of time on the Kashmir dispute. He asked the Indians to show flexibility in the way they should approach the problem, implying that Pakistan had already done that by its willingness not to insist on the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions that had asked for ascertaining the wishes of the people of Kashmir. What kind of flexibility is the president seeking in light of the well known Indian position that they will not partition Kashmir along religious lines and not change the current boundaries of the state in favour of Pakistan?

At an earlier time, President Musharraf had suggested that in the dialogue between the two countries the two sides should clearly indicate the lines they would not cross. For the Indians this presumably means changing the borders and for Pakistan giving up its claim on Kashmir. Once these lines are drawn, the two sides should attempt to negotiate for the areas that are left between them.

This is a highly pragmatic approach that could lead to the resolution of the problem over the long-term. Pakistan needs to change the timeframe within which it is seeking to find a solution. As already indicated, none of the four approaches it has tried in the past have worked in its favour. The fifth approach would be the outcome of the recognition that Pakistan is now considerably weaker economically as well as militarily to force a solution on India over the short-term. It has already paid a heavy price for keeping the Kashmir issue alive as a dispute about the status of the state. This price was paid in terms of both the cost to the economy and creating an opportunity for radical and militant Islam to assert itself in the country. It would be wrong — perhaps suicidal — to maintain that posture.

At the same time, India has to recognize that this time around the insurgency in the state is based on deep-rooted resentment of the way the Kashmiris feel they have been treated by New Delhi. In this context, it would be useful to quote at length from a book by Tavleen Singh, a well regarded Indian journalist.

“India has compelling reasons for wanting to keep Kashmir Indian. Unfortunately no one seems to know any more how this could be done. In the absence of any other ideas, the only one that Delhi seems to come up with is a military solution. Delhi continues to believe that Kashmir can be taught to recognize that you cannot take on the might of the Indian state and win.

“Most Indians appear to share this view. And most Indians believe that the reason why Kashmiris have been able to get away with their defiance is only because India is a ‘soft state’. Since the press, by and large, cooperates with the government in not telling the truth about what is going on in the Valley, the ‘soft state’ image persists. ...Nine out of ten articles in the Indian press propagate this view. They rarely speak of the very unsoft side of the Indian state that Kashmiris usually get to see.”

India’s unsoft approach in Kashmir and Pakistan’s inability to force a change means that a new approach needs to be found to move the state towards eventual settlement. One possible way of dealing with this seemingly intractable problem is to move along three fronts simultaneously. One, to get India to grant autonomy to the state well beyond that promised in Article 370 of its constitution. Two, India and Pakistan should allow free movement of people, goods and commodities between the part of Kashmir India occupies and Pakistan.

The most appropriate way of achieving this would be in the context of the South Asia Free Trade Area that is expected to be launched on January 1, 2006. Three, India and Pakistan should become partners along with the community of international and bilateral donors and launch a massive programme of economic development and reconstruction on both sides of the border.

In the coming weeks I will elaborate on the cost Pakistan has already incurred in keeping the dispute alive and what kind of sub-regional arrangement it should seek within the context of Safta to bring economic relief to the citizens of Kashmir.
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This Topic is very important from exam point of view as it is of perpetual nature.Also for extensive study and Background u can check the following Post by Miss Gule lala
ALLAH Hafiz,
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Default Kashmir Problem


Where is Kashmir?

Kashmir, a 222,236 sq km region in the northwestern Indian subcontinent, is surrounded by China in the northeast, the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab in the south, by Pakistan in the west, and by Afghanistan in the northwest. The region has been dubbed "disputed territory" between India and Pakistan since the partition of India in 1947. The southern and southeastern parts of the region make up the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, while the northern and western parts are controlled by Pakistan. A border called the Line of Control (agreed to in 1972) divides the two parts. The eastern area of Kashmir comprising the northeastern part of the region(Aksai Chin) came under the control of China since 1962. The predominant religion in the Jammu area is Hinduism in the east and Islam in the west. Islam is also the main religion in the Kashmir valley and the Pakistan-controlled parts.

It may seem that the history and geography of Kashmir and the religious affiliations of its people present an ideal recipe for bitterness and animosity. But it is not so. The Hindus and Muslims of Kashmir have lived in harmony since the 13th century when Islam emerged as a major religion in Kashmir. The Rishi tradition of Kashmiri Hindus and Sufi-Islamic way of life of Kashmiri Muslims not only co-existed, they complemented each other and also created a unique ethnicity in which Hindus and Muslims visited the same shrines and venerated the same saints.

A Brief History of Kashmir

The earliest recorded history of Kashmir by Kalhan begins at the time of the Mahabharata war. In the 3rd century BC, emperor Ashoka introduced Buddhism in the valley. Kashmir became a major hub of Hindu culture by the 9th century AD. It was the birthplace of the Hindu sect called Kashmiri 'Shaivism', and a haven for the greatest Sanskrit scholars.

Several Hindu sovereigns ruled the land until 1346, the year of the advent of Muslim invaders. During this time, a multitude of Hindu shrines were destroyed, and Hindus were forced to embrace Islam. The Mughals ruled Kashmir from 1587 to 1752 — a period of peace and order. This was followed by a dark period (1752-1819), when Afghan despots ruled Kashmir. The Muslim period, which lasted for about 500 years, came to an end with the annexation of Kashmir to the Sikh kingdom of Punjab in 1819.

The Kashmir region, in its present form, became a part of the Hindu Dogra kingdom at the end of the First Sikh War in 1846, when, by the treaties of Lahore and Amritsar, Maharaja Gulab Singh, the Dogra ruler of Jammu, was made the ruler of Kashmir "to the eastward of the River Indus and westward of the River Ravi." The Dogra rulers — Maharaja Gulab Singh (1846 to 1857), Maharaja Ranbir Singh (1857 to 1885), Maharaja Pratap Singh (1885 to 1925), and Maharaja Hari Singh (1925 to 1950) — laid the foundations of the modern Jammu & Kashmir state. This princely state lacked a definite boundary until the 1880s, when the British delimited boundaries in negotiations with Afghanistan and Russia. The crisis in Kashmir began immediately after the British rule ended.

The Origin of Kashmir Crisis

After the British withdrew from the Indian subcontinent in 1947, territorial disputes over Kashmir started brewing. When India and Pakistan were partitioned, the ruler of the princely state of Kashmir was given the right to decide on whether to merge with either Pakistan or India or remain independent with certain reservations.

After a few months of dilemma, Maharaja Hari Singh, the Hindu ruler of a predominantly Muslim state, decided to sign an Instrument of Accession to the Indian Union in October 1947. This enraged the Pakistani leaders. They attacked Jammu & Kashmir as they felt that all areas of India with Muslim majority should be under their control. Pakistani troops overran most of the state and the Maharaja took refuge in India.

India, wanting to confirm the act of accession and defend its territory, sent troops to Kashmir. But by then Pakistan had captured a considerable chunk of the region. This gave rise to a localized warfare that continued through 1948, with Pakistan retaining control of a large area of the state, but India keeping a larger part.

The Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru soon declared a unilateral ceasefire and called for a plebiscite. India filed a complaint with the UN Security Council, which established the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP). Pakistan was accused of invading the region, and was asked to withdraw its forces from Jammu & Kashmir. The UNCIP also passed a resolution stating: "The question of accession of the state of Jammu & Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of free and impartial plebiscite". However, this could not take place because Pakistan did not comply with the UN resolution and refused to withdraw from the state. The international community failed to play a decisive role in the matter saying that Jammu & Kashmir is a "disputed territory". In 1949, with the intervention of the United Nations, India and Pakistan defined a ceasefire line ("Line of Control") that divided the two countries. This left Kashmir a divided and disturbed territory.

In September 1951, elections were held in the Indian Jammu & Kashmir, and National Conference under the leadership of Sheikh Abdullah came to power, with the inauguration of the Constituent Assembly of the State of Jammu & Kashmir.

Warfare again broke out between India and Pakistan in 1965. A cease-fire was established, and the two countries signed an agreement at Tashkent (Uzbekistan) in 1966, pledging to end the dispute by peaceful means. Five years later, the two again went to war that resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. Another accord was signed in 1972 between the two Prime Ministers — Indira Gandhi and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto — in Simla. After Bhutto was executed in 1979, the Kashmir issue once again flared up.

During the 1980s, massive infiltrations from Pakistan were detected in the region, and India has since then maintained a strong military presence in Jammu & Kashmir to check these movements along the cease-fire line. India says that Pakistan has been stirring up violence in its part of Kashmir by training and funding "Islamic guerrillas" that have waged a separatist war since 1989 killing tens of thousands of people. Pakistan has always denied the charge, calling it an indigenous "freedom struggle

In 1999, intense fighting ensued between the infiltrators and the Indian army in the Kargil area of the western part of the state, which lasted for more than two months. The battle ended with India managing to reclaim most of the area on its side that had been seized by the infiltrators.

In 2001, Pakistan-backed terrorists waged violent attacks on the Kashmir Assembly and the Indian Parliament in New Delhi. This has resulted in a war-like situation between the two countries, with Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf asking his army to be "fully prepared and capable of defeating all challenges," and Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee saying, "We don't want war but war is being thrust upon us, and we will have to face it." The Indian Home Minister declared that India "will now wage a decisive battle against the proxy war…in this war against terrorism."

However, India's influence right wing Hindu nationalist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has surprised everyone by not giving any call for war with Pakistan. Marking a clear distinction between "Islamist" forces and "Islamic" traditions, it said that Pakistan cannot yet be bracketed with countries like Sudan or Taliban Afghanistan, which supports Islamic terrorism, "even though there are forces in that country, which do like to use Islamic terrorism for political ends."

India and Pakistan have started massing troops along the border, almost cut down diplomatic ties and transport links, fuelling fears of a fourth war in 50 years.

However due to the pressure inserted by the world community both the countries refrained from any further steps towards the process of war.Infact both the countries were fully aware about the fact that the war will result in more disharmony between the nations and will make things deterioate further.Therefore India on pressurising of USA withdrew its troops from Pakistani borders ,releiving both the nations and the world.


Since their overt nuclearization India and Pakistan tried to make peace three times .In 1998 and 1999 ,optimism soared as the two countries embarked upon the a much lauded bus diplomacy which resulted in the historic visit of Indian Prime Minister to Lahore where a declaration was signed as "Lahore declaration" with the objective that both the countries can move towards peace and progress with bilateral realtions and mutual considerations.
Then there was Agra Summit which abruptly ended because of the disagreements over the LOC and the presence of militants in the region.
The next step was taken for peace in January 2004 during the SAARC summit when the PM's of both the countries met on side lines and agreed on the re esatablishment of their mutual dialogues.

Thus a round of talks started on regular basis at official level which resulted in the ease of tensions between the two neigbours.Consequently the bus system between New Delhi and Lahore , Muzaffarabad and Srinagar were inagurated and thus a way of people to people contact developed.The foremost advantage which both the countries faced because of this emerging detente is the coexistence of peace and friendly realtions.At present two new bus services between Lahore and Amritsr and Amritsar to Nakana are under consideration and it is hoped that these two will be launched soon.

Infact both the countries now look forward to arrange mutual programs for their economic,social and cultural development,which is conceived by many analysts as significant steps towards the road of peace and for the resolutoon of the conflict of Kashmir which always prevented both of the countries to move towards the good friendly relations.
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Default New thinking on Kashmir

New thinking on Kashmir: text of Mirwaiz’s speech

NEW DELHI: The head of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, has proposed a United States of Kashmir to involve all provinces of the disputed region. He made the proposal while speaking on Wednesday at the Hindustan Times’ Leadership Summit on “New Thinking on Kashmir.”

The following is the full text of Mirwaiz speech:

I am profoundly grateful to the organizers of “the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit” for the opportunity to speak to such an esteemed and even more profound audience on the subject, “New Thinking on Kashmir.”

Ladies, and Gentlemen, for the greater part of its history, Kashmir has maintained an independent existence. Its individuality has been shaped by its distinctive natural setting, the diligence and craftsmanship of its people, its long experience of phases of growth and decline and its sustained traditions of amity and tolerance between the different religious or cultural communities. The conflict over the disputed territory of Kashmir is soluble only if pragmatic, realistic and tangible strategy is established to help seta stage to put the Kashmir issue on the road to a just and durable settlement.

Since, we are concerned at this time with setting a stage for settlement rather than the shape, the settlement will take, we believe that it is both untimely and harmful to indulge in, or encourage, controversies about the most desirable solution.

We deprecate raising of quasi-legal or pseudo-legal questions during the preparatory phase about the final settlement. It only serves to befog the issue and to convey the wrong impression that the dispute is too complex to be resolved and that India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir hold equally inflexible positions. Such an impression does great injury to the cause. Anymore, complexity is in the eyes of beholder. There is not a single international issue that is not complex. If there is an interest then the complexity becomes a motivating factor. And, if there is none, then complexity becomes an instrument of passivity and inaction.

I believe that peace and justice in Kashmir are achievable if all parties to the dispute make some sacrifices. Each party to the dispute will have to modify her position so that common ground could be found. Therefore, the plan should be such which neither promotes nor rules out any conceivable settlement of the dispute – accession in whole or in part to India or Pakistan, the eventual joining or separation of any two regions, independence or quasi-independence etc.

The whole idea behind it is not to impose or recommend any particular solution but instead to get the representatives of the different regions of Kashmir themselves to decide a settlement without pressure either from India or Pakistan and even from one dominant region or another.

Let it not be said that Hurriyat does not recognize the diversity within the State. It is has repeatedly acknowledged, advocated the representation of these diversities and in such recognition have mooted a “United States of Kashmir”. This may or may not be acceptable to the State’s diverse population.

But to verify that we need an atmosphere in which we, the diverse people of the State can meet freely without fear of labels, talk amongst ourselves, understand each other and determine what is practicable. Clearly the government of India and Pakistan need to be generous to allow this internal dialogue amongst ourselves. The Hurriyat favours a mechanism that I have often described as “triangular dialogue”.

What we mean by this is that the leadership from across the ceasefire line of the State be allowed to talk to the Indian and Pakistani leadership separately and alternatively and to return to its populaces with their views. This will take time and it will require effort. But let it be said here and now, both will be needed in generous amounts if we are to embark on the road to the resolution of the Kashmir problem.

We have welcomed the initiation of talks between the Governments of India and Pakistan. We owe it to the interests of peace to enter two caveats along with this welcome. The first caveat is that as the dispute involves three parties — India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir who are the most directly affected — any attempt to strike a deal between the two without the association of the third, will fail to yield a credible settlement. This has been made unmistakably clear by the flimsy agreements that were contrived in the past. The agreement between Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehruin 1952; and the pact between Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and Mrs. IndiraGandhi in 1975; and an agreement between Mr. Farooq Abdullah and Mr.Rajiv Gandhi in 1980’s sought to bypass Pakistan, leaving the basic issue of Kashmir unsettled. Likewise, the Tashkent Agreement of 1966 between India and Pakistan; the Simla Agreement of 1972; and the Lahore Declaration of 1998 sought to bypass the people of Kashmir and it resulted in a failure. So the time has come that talks need to be tripartite.

It is quite obvious that no formula that fails to command the consent of the Kashmiri people will be worth the paper on which it is written. The idea is neither novel nor grasping. Sinn Fein was a negotiating partner in Northern Ireland, the Palestinian Liberation Organizationin the Middle East, East Timorese leaders in East Timor, and the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA) in Kosovo.

The policy that aims at merely defusing the situation, and buying time whatever that may mean and not encouraging a credible settlement has not paid in the past. It is likely to do even less now. We all know that the best remedy for any tragedy is the coming together of people from all walks of life. Nothing has dramatized the cruelty of the artificial lines that separate and divide us in Kashmir than the recent earthquake that had devastated Muzaffarabad and laid much of the State on either side of ceasefire line to waste. Again we appreciate the moderation in Delhi and Islamabad in allowing people from the two sides to meet, share our grief and help each other. I would like to take this opportunity to urge India and Pakistan and the State of Jammu and Kashmir in its entirety to expand this new season of trust and apathy. It is this, that is normal; it is this, that is natural; it is precisely what is needed if we are to end the uncertainty that has plagued the politics of South Asia, a population of almost a billion and a half, for over half a century.

It must be noted, that although we commend India and Pakistan for allowing the five points of entry along the Ceasefire Line to be opened, and the restraint displayed by India for not retaliating or building up troops on the borders.

Until the people of Kashmir are able to freely travel from one side of the Ceasefire Line to the other, the Kashmiri people will still be faced with a feeling of seclusion and imprisonment. We understand the concerns of India and Pakistan regarding security issues, and that by opening the crossings for aid to travel freely to both sides is an incredible concession and confidence-building measure for both sides, and they should be commended for putting people before politics. But more needs to be done…..(Ladies and Gentlemen, let us stand for a minute in silence in memory of those who have lost their lives and those who have been otherwise devastated in the recent earthquake.)

Recently, both Dr. Manmohan Singh and General Pervez Musharraf have taken some initiatives towards a new re-thinking of Kashmir, an approach that both sides have come to embrace. Additionally, both leaders have involved input from Kashmiri leadership, something that has always been a necessity to finding a solution. I can personally tell you that the talks have been fruitful, and that our input was well received, and received in good faith. We only hope that this will continue, as we believe the more Kashmiri leadership is involved and received in good faith by Pakistan and India, the greater the results will be witnessed on the ground.

In another sign of moving forward, President Musharraf stated last month that it is time for Kashmir to be demilitarized. Both Indian troops, as well as Pakistani and troops throughout the regions of Kashmir. This would not only benefit India and Pakistan, but this would pave the way for further dialogue between both sides of Kashmir to become closer with one another.

Therefore, the urgent necessities are:

a) To demilitarize the arena of conflict — the state of Jammu andKashmir — through a phased withdrawal of the troops (including para-military forces) of both India and Pakistan from the areas under their respective control.

b) To take the sting out of the dispute by detaching moves towards demilitarization of the State from the rights, claims or recognized positions of the three parties involved. In order to do this, it might be necessary to make the demilitarization of the State the first step towards the reduction of Indian and Pakistani forces on their borders outside of Kashmir.

c). It is after the peace-process is set afoot that the rights and claims of the parties can be considered in a non-violent atmosphere.

Ladies and Gentlemen, contrary to some pundits who revel in teaching what they don’t know that the Kashmir conflict is neither fuelled by Islamic fundamentalism nor the machinations of extremism and terrorism. Militancy is not the only aspect of the Kashmir issue. It began decades ago in 1931 before the so-called “Afghan Arabs” appeared on the international terrorism and before Islamic “fundamentalism” was even minted by the Western press; the resistance displays no particular affection for any country.

More so, the term fundamentalism is inapplicable to Kashmiri society. It has a long tradition of moderation and non-violence. Its culture does not generate extremism. The Kashmiri Hindus (Pandits), though a tiny minority – just less than 2 per cent of the total population – flourished under the Kashmiri Muslim majority.

They equally believe, as do their Muslim compatriots, that the resistance in Kashmir is not communal. It cannot be communal and should not be. The compulsions of Kashmir’s history and the demands of its future alike forbid religious conflict or sectarian strife. Despite some cultural divergences, Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits are tied harmoniously together by a common history, folklore, tragedies, habitat, seasons, soil, language, heritage, customs, and socioeconomic interdependence.

Their commonalities dwarf their differences, and explains their remarkable record of fraternity and solidarity. The present situation inside Kashmir makes it clear that, if talks between India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir are to mean anything, they must be accompanied by practical measures to restore an environment of non-violence.

Nevertheless, the continued talks between India, Pakistan and Kashmiris can be useful if they reflect a sense of urgency and prepare the ground for an earnest effort to frame a step-by-step plan of settlement. If a response to the gravity of the situation is intended, we firmly believe that the following measuresare essential:

i. The immediate and complete cessation of military, para-military and militant actions;

ii. Withdrawal of the military presence from towns and villages;

iii. Dismantling of bunkers, watch towers and barricades;

iv. Releasing of political prisoners;

v. Human Rights violations especially custodial killings continue apace and are often dismissed as one of aberrations. This cavalier attitude must cease.

vi. Annulling various special repressive laws;

vii. Restoring the rights of peaceful association, assembly and demonstrations;

viii. Permitting to travel abroad without hindrance, Kashmiri leadership who favour a negotiated resolution;

ix. Issuing visas to the Diaspora Kashmiri leadership to visit Jammu and Kashmir to help sustain the peace process;

x. Creating necessary condition and providing facilities for an intra-Kashmiri dialogue embracing both sides of the Ceasefire Line.

xi). Allowing a transitional phase, a phase of detoxification, before its decisive elements are put into effect.

I would like to conclude my presentation to you on a personal note. As many of you know, many of my colleagues and I had an opportunity, a few months ago to visit the other side of the Ceasefire Line that divides us. When we boarded our cars at the Hurriyat office, I was intensely aware that I was taking the same route that my grandfather, Mirwaiz Yusuf Shah, had taken in 1947 when he was exiled.

I remember thinking, as I boarded the bus, that those were bitter times. A bitterness that had dominated us for almost six decades. The time has come to change that. And we travelled further up the roads that links the two sides of Kashmir, I remember committing myself to preventing my children from living in the atmosphere that we had experienced in our times. It convinced me that I must personally contribute towards the process that will end the bitterness and bring resolution to the dispute.

The Kashmir problem, ladies and gentlemen, is a human tragedy. The time has come to end it and move forward. We in Kashmir are ready. The roar of the gun in Kashmir will stop; it has to stop but ladies and gentlemen what needs to be addressed is the roar in the minds and hearts of the Kashmiris. I believe that with Kashmiri participation, anything is possible. Without it, nothing is.

Thank you for your patient hearing.

Note: Kashmir means entire state of Jammu and Kashmir as it existed on 14th August 1947
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