Kashmir and the India-Pakistan composite dialogue process
Date of Issue2015
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
This paper explores how the contentious issue of Kashmir has been framed in the India- Pakistan composite dialogue which aims at building a peace process between the two nuclear armed countries locked in an adversarial relationship for over six decades. Through an item by item analysis of the eight heads of the composite dialogue, it demonstrates that barring one item, the script of Kashmir — its land, resources, livelihoods and security — runs through all of them in some form or another. Yet this top- down composite dialogue conducted by the political leadership of India and Pakistan has yielded no tangible results in resolving any of the issues around Kashmir. It is time for a new imaginative peace-building paradigm to be given a chance where the people of Kashmir, in all their diversity, are recognised as legitimate stakeholders in an inclusive dialogic process. The paper suggests that intra-Kashmir people-to-people dialogues, both within Indian-administered Kashmir and between Indian and Pakistan administered Kashmir, be allowed to acquire a meaning and momentum of their own and advocates consultative mechanisms to allow community voices and narratives to percolate into and inform the official Indo-Pakistan composite dialogue. A more people centric peace process in Kashmir is an idea whose time has come.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science
RSIS Working Papers, 291-15