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Syed Youseef Shah , University of Sindh ,Jamshoro.

Kashmir Issue: Solutions and Hurdles.

Kashmir has remained an apple of discord between Pakistan and India for
over six decades. Both the countries claim injustice and illegal occupation of the
valley .Some strategic experts and political analysts have presented solutions to
resolve the conflict between the warring countries peacefully. This Essay highlights
the solutions provided by the experts and the hurdles in materializing the proposals.

Possible Kashmir solutions include:

a. Giving Kashmir the right to opt for Pakistan or India in accordance to UNSC
b. Creating an Independent Kashmir
c. Dividing the state between India and Pakistan permanently
d. Making two parts of Kashmir fully autonomous with the two countries jointly
controlling their defence and foreign affairs.
Debate on the Solutions:
In fact, solution (d) is a variant of solution(c) for any measure of autonomy
conferred on Kashmir by India and Pakistan can be taken away by them in the name
of defending the state against foreign aggression or conducting its foreign relations
so sweeping is the scope on these two subjects.

Arguments against Proposition b:

Kashmir already has a special autonomous status within the Indian Union.
Article 370 of the constitution of India provides that, except for defence, foreign
affairs, communications and ancillary matters, parliament needs the Kashmir
governments concurrence for applying all other laws in the state. Again, these
exceptions are so wide in scope that they have scaled down Kashmirs special
autonomous status.
Since Kashmir also borders China, it has tremendous strategic significance
and thus it can hardly remain autonomous no matter what basic law of the land may
promise. Partly for this reason, the independent Kashmir option is also not palatable
for India. Nor does it find favour with Pakistan. Thus we are left with options ( a) and
( c) the one advocated by Pakistan ;and the other by India.
Arguments against proposition C:

Syed Youseef Shah , University of Sindh ,Jamshoro.

As per the UNSC resolutions, the accession of Kashmir to India or Pakistan has
to be decided through a plebiscite. However, since the mid-1950s India has been
opposing a plebiscite in Kashmir on two grounds: one, the constituent assembly of
the Indian Controlled Kashmir ratified the states accession to New Delhi in 1954.
Two, Pakistans defence alliance with the US upset the military balance in the
region making it necessary for the India not to demilitarize Kashmir- an essential
condition for holding the plebiscite. In 1957, India formally declared the state to be
its irrevocable part. since then New Delhi treats Kashmirs accession as a past and
closed transaction.

Criticism on UN:
Save for a brief period during the Musharaf era (1998-2008) ,Pakistan has
consistently called for implementation of UNSC resolutions. The latest renewal of
the calls was made by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his address to the UN General
Assembly last month. This prompted the very next day on the same forum his
Indian counterpart to react on the Issue.
As far the UN, its capability to address any issue depends on the willingness
of the permanent members of the Security Council and they are not interested in
having the Kashmir plebiscite staged. Hence, as in the past, it is highly unlikely that
Islamabads opposition on Kashmir will get any buyers.
Indias stance on bilateral resolution of Kashmir:
India is willing to discuss Kashmir but only bilaterally. That said, for New Delhi
bilateral discussion on Kashmir does not entail agreeing to separation of the
territory from India including conceding the right of self-determination to the people
of Kashmir.
Instead the discussion entails Pakistans occupation of a part of Kashmir and
its support to the insurgency. Hence neither multilaterally nor bilaterally does India
seem well-disciplined to entertaining any proposal that may draw Kashmir out of its