Solving the Conflict over Kashmir
Examining the struggle in Kashmir from an historical and a modern perspective.
This essay examines the claims of India and Pakistan over Kashmir, and examines some of the more viable solutions towards ending the fifty year standoff, concluding with a proposition for self-determination. It also suggests solutions to avoiding a nuclear conflict.
“Few current events are capable of conjuring the level of passion characteristically aroused in the debate over the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The valley that has historically been characterized by the beauty and fertility of its land is now depicted in routine acts of violence, religious extremism, and human rights atrocities, and the issues at hand are as convoluted as the region’s ancient history. Most aspects regarding Kashmir’s current turmoil remain obscured to outsiders by ambiguity and propaganda. What have become evident, however, are the countless atrocities routinely perpetrated over the past several decades. Since 1947, Pakistan and India have twice declared war over the disputed territory, and have persistently engaged in low-level border skirmishes, which have left thousands dead. Because both counties now possess nuclear weapons, the international stakes in resolving the conflict have never been greater. Although both India and Pakistan have undoubtedly played a role in the violence, one’s view of the crisis depends upon which account has been given, as both countries seem more interested in distorting the facts to aid their own cause, rather than viewing acts of violence individually and objectively.”