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Known to be home to the most scenic locations in the world, Kashmir has a population of about 7.6 million. Kashmir has a part of its region in the valleys of the Himalayas. It is divided into three parts:
Jammu and Kashmir (Indian controlled),
Azad Kashmir (Pakistan controlled),
Aksai chin (Chinese controlled).
Kashmir under the British rule was one of the Five hundred and sixty two so called princely states that existed in India. It was one the biggest princely states under the British rule. After the British rule was over in India during 1947, Kashmir had three choices as a princely state it could:
Join India and merge as one of its states.
Join Pakistan and merge as one of its states.
Choose to be an independent unit.
It was very well known that although Kashmir had a Hindu ruler named Maharaja Hari Singh. The population statistics or Kashmir showed a majority of Muslims nearly 77 percent, the rest 20 percent were Hindu and 3 percent belong to other religions. It is pretty evident that although Kashmir had three choices which were legally drafted by the british. It only had two choices, either join Pakistan or join India. The King was ready to join either of the two nations as long as his throne would be kept valid for him after the merger. The King did formally at one point agree to accede into the Indian union legally. But since it was a state of Muslim majority Pakistan claims to have it as a part of their Muslim nation. The King had a trifle with both the nations about the merger, Pakistan did try and infiltrate to guarantee ascension into their nation, but a fight was put up by Indian forces to stop the infiltration. Finally United Nations created a treaty of ceasefire during the feud in 1949. This created the line of control also known as “LOC”. It was divided into two parts; one the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir the other one was called Azad (Free) Jammu and Kashmir.
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To this date the conflict continues, so the crux and the genesis of the issue is the ascension of J & K into one of the two nations. The two nations still maintain their side of the line.
Another dispute of territory with reference to Kashmir is the Chinese claim over Kashmir land on the northern part of Tibet. The Chinese do not accept the boundaries laid down by the British empire. The province in dispute has Chinese settlers and is named Aksai Chin. Aksai chin is over 20 % the size of Kashmir.
Now, that we do know the genesis of the conflict in Kashmir. We come to the present scenario of civil unrest in Kashmir. Both sides of the disputed line of control, the Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir and the Azad Kashmir of Pakistan continue to have conflicts. India has accused the Pakistani intelligence of training militant/terrorist groups like the infamous Mujahidin, to fight and rebel against Indian dominance and rule in Jammu and Kashmir (the Indian side). Jammu and Kashmir has been victims to innumerous militant attacks. Pakistan has put up allegations that the choice of the King of Kashmir to merge and join with India was not good enough. Pakistan has based its claim by saying that it is up to the people of Kashmir to decide who Kashmir belonged to and not a decision to be taken by a prince or king. Pakistan allegations against India are the excessive dominance and presence of the Indian army occupation and strongholds in Jammu and Kashmir (Indian Side).
Separatists of Kashmir.
The separatists of Kashmir are a group which wants to have freedom in Kashmir, it wants to either join with Pakistan or stay independent. But are persistent not to join India, India cannot let go of Kashmir since it is the only Muslim majority state India has. Separatists conduct frequent protests against the Indian armed forces; they are based on religious grounds.
Recent developments of the ongoing conflict.
Kashmir has been known to have constant civil unrest. The state has frequent lock downs and curfews. Recently on June 9th, 2009 after a weeklong separatist strike on the region there was a heavy protest in Shopian towards Indian forces in the area the protest erupted after two bodies of Kashmiri girls were found and locals said they were raped by Indian forces. The forces of both India and Pakistan have been on and off the news for many allegations, but not much change seems to some into the scenario. Although, there are significant occurrences of Militant attacks, many other such rebellions on both sides of Kashmir, there has been a decline in large scale violent attacks on Kashmir since 2004. There are many militant/terrorist groups who have been fighting for freedom since 1989 till date, to name a few:
After talks between New Delhi and Pakistan the violence has reduced to a great extent. The Line of control has been fenced and a ceasefire order was issued. The Pakistani government was again blamed of giving cover to militants while crossing the border which contributed a lot to civil unrest. The Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari admitted that militants crossing were indeed terrorists.
2008 saw the least violence in Kashmir. There were records of over 1400 deaths in 1996 but 2008 saw just 89 deaths. Militants continue to commit crime in areas of Kashmir, crimes like extortion murder of religious group leaders, raping women, hijacking of trains and buses and bombing of public buildings.
When it comes to the security forces both Pakistani and Indian security forces who control the area, are constantly blamed of human right abuses. The forces are known
To fake murder of convicts in jail, by reporting it as an encounter.
To practice inhumane acts of torturing people who are suspected for crime.
For Arresting and holding custody of people for more than a year under no ground without granting them a trial or bail.
To have very violent retaliation towards Protests.
To conduct arrests with no warrants.
Civil Protests in Kashmir.
2008 saw a big protest in the land transfer issue, the infamous Hindu Amaranth temple. When the Indian side of Kashmir (J & K) was in a land deal to transfer 100 acres to the Hindu amaranth temple trust, to build houses for Hindu pilgrims there was heavy protesting from the Muslim community in that area opposing the transfer. The Indian forces responded quickly 40 protesters were killed during the protest control movement and more than 300 detained. Indian forces were blamed of violent response to the protest and the forces underwent an official allegation carried out by the United Nations. This issue saw one of the largest protests in Kashmir with over half a million people taking part in peaceful rallies against the India administration of Kashmir.
Stone pelting incidents- In 2009, Separatist and workers of an unknown political party this even led to the retaliation fire by the police. Several civic services automobiles were destroyed, and many separatist were left dead.
Non Government Organizations in Kashmir (NGO’s).
Kashmir did see a prominent change in the number of active Ngo’s In the late 90’s and the early 2000’s, although it did exist in for a few decades the NGO culture of Kashmir never did creep in. Kashmir was known for its religious piousness and so most NGO’s were not successful in their community work endeavors.
It was not until the evil truths of militancy and violence were out that NGO’s gained popularity. “NGO’s have become a part of the Kashmir lifestyle “. There has been a great number of new NGO’s in Kashmir and now, it is proven that most of them are not running on a service motive but on Profit and money making motives. There are but a few sincere NGO’s that do really mean change to the violence hit parts of Kashmir. It has been speculated by the media that many NGO’s are run by bureaucrats and corrupt politicians and thus they misuse funds to improve their party and its people. Due to the heavy militant violence in Kashmir the people of various parts of the state are traumatized. It has been statistically proven in reports that over twenty thousand children have been orphaned in the militant violence period, thus leading to the conclusion that the children of Kashmir are the most deprived class of this conflict. There is a great need for sincere NGO’s to come in a provide shelter and education to these poor children who do not deserve this state of life. One very well known NGO which continues to perform in this area of work is the Yateem Foundation; they have managed to house many children in the last few years. They have significant collection of funds for their activities.
Another case is the International NGO’s in Kashmir, There has been a memorandum of understanding that states that if an International NGO (INGO), Does wish to practice it must seek permission to enter certain parts of Kashmir, Permissions are granted only by the government under their set of regulations of the regions based on case sensitivity.
The restrictions and obstacles faced by NGO’s in Kashmir.
The NGO had not penetrated in Kashmir until recently, it is hard since the situation in Kashmir is a kind in which a government itself has failed several times, so to bring up that culture thoroughly will take winning minds of thousands who have no faith in authority what so ever.
Many registered NGO’s fail to live up to the expectations of people and thus, this lead to the rise of unregistered organization which actually provide more assistance to the deprived. So it is seen how people are steadily creating a image towards NGO’s keeping in mind their ineffectiveness.
NGO’s lack enough funds. Although money does flow in from Muslim community groups all over the world and also donations from all over the world there is a allegation that this money is often being misused.
Many people are still under the assumption that NGO’s are cover up’s for money laundering scams carried out by militant/terrorist group.
Favorites are the gainers in many cases, due to political pressure and bureaucracy.
To relate to this conflict I chose three conflict mapping techniques.
L. Shay Bright, Paul Wehr, and the Hocker&Wilmot.
Although my initial intention was to go with the Shay Bright mapping process, I have decided to go with the Paul Wehr approach since it is more simple and logical to understand and relate to.
The Paul Wehr approach to conflict mapping has a very descriptive nature, it’s simple to understand and fit for relating to conflict with a large number of people, organizations, and governments.
This approach has a roadmap which is usually broken down to 9 parts.
Causes and consequences
Goals and interests
Use of the map
Description of each item with reference to the Kashmir Conflict.
Conflict context- the context of the conflict is the base of mapping it, as we read before the Kashmir conflict will be the context to which this conflict mapping will be carried out. By now we have a brief understanding about the conflict and its happenings.
Primary parties- In the Kashmir conflict there are two primary parties involved according two me, one being Pakistan as a nation since they do not want Kashmir to align with India and the second one being the Indian armed forces and governance one may argue on how the Kashmiri people should also be a primary party, but it is not so since the current issue is the Pakistan vs. India dispute for the territory of Kashmir.
Secondary parties- the secondary parties are the people Of Kashmir who are amidst two giants who want their territory. Although it can be noticed how the majority population of Kashmir is Muslim and they are sympathizers with Pakistan’s religious outlook, which they claim to be the base of the issue. But the conflict does affect the other piece of population, the Hindus, Sikhs and so on. The conflict has gone to such extreme that people in the line of suffering are actually the secondary parties, the women and children of Kashmir who are leading a horrid life, a life of fear and insecurity.
Third party- third parties can be people who want this conflict to be mediated and sorted out, in this cased the most prominent third party would be the United Nations which want this conflict to end. The united nations want the torture and exploitation of the people of Kashmir to end. Also other noticeable parties are the U.S.A, Euro council, and many other nations which do not want a conflict to disturb world peace.
Causes and Consequences- it is evident that when a conflict escalates there will be clashes of the conflicted parties. The Kashmir conflict is basically over territorial dispute and thus, India and Pakistan have gone head to head several times over it.
Despite that fact we also see the militancy and terrorism that take place frequently where in people openly rebel against that idea of joining in with India.
The roots of this conflict is the feud between the Hindus and the Muslims, there were four significant wars between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue.
1947-1948, the first war between the two nations India and Pakistan:
Muslims revolted against the monarchy in Kashmir which was Hindu, Pakistani troops were supporting the attack.
The Hindu ruler appealed to India for aid, India agreed to help and sent in troops, they managed to push the Pakistani troops back. The war ended on January 1st 1949, the UN was the mediator and called for a truce to stop the war.
1965,the second war between the two nations India and Pakistan:
The second was started when troops clashed in the Rann Of Kachchh, along the Pakistan India border in 1965 April. This was one of the most well-known battles since the two nations dared to cross each other borders and conduct air assaults, it was not soon that neighboring countries like the giant china almost interfered. The UN again had to play mediator and thus a ceasefire agreement was formed. The authorities of the two nations then, Prime Minister of India Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri and the president of Pakistan Ayub Khan setup a meeting in Tashkent, U.S.S.R now know as Uzbekistan to sign the ceasefire and future negotiations agreement.
1971 , the third war between the two nations India and Pakistan:
This war had a different start, it started off as a civil war internally in Pakistan. Where western and eastern Pakistan had clashes. When the war carried its trail to Kashmir Pakistan bombed Indian airfields in Kashmir. As retaliation India attacked both east and West Pakistan as a result of which India captured the eastern side. As a result of which about 10 million people had to flee to India, many lives were lost and many casualties It later in 1974 it gained independence but was called Bangladesh.
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1999, the latest war called “The Kargil War ” it took place in Kashmir, a place called Kargil in May. It was a war that left a lot of causalities and deaths it was an army of 5000 Pakistanis against a 30,000 Indian army Pakistan took defeat and . Pakistan retreated completely from Azad Kashmir.
The war leads to 527 Indian soldiers and 4000 Pakistani soldiers, and many more wounded on both sides.
We can see in most wars the main reason for it to take place is identity conflicts between the Muslim and Pakistanis against the Indian nation.
Contrasting Beliefs- in this conflict it is clear that there is a clash of religion’s, identity and pride. The people of Kashmir are surrounded by a Muslim majority that is 3/4th the size of the population. When it comes to joining India as a part of that nation they feel conflicted on the basis of being outnumbered by Hindus. Pakistan feels the need of Kashmir joining their Muslim nation since they feel they can provide security to their people. Behind all these issues lies a fact that a nation of over 7.8 million people (Kashmir) has not had peace completely for over 60 years. The Indians are keeping strong on the point that the Maharaja/King had already signed the instrument of accession into India. The Pakistanis feel the need of brotherhood on the basis of Islam. Both nations still date have not managed to come to a decision.
Goals and Interests- in a conflict like this main reasons parties are conflicted are based on recognition, justice and security. “An important purpose of mapping is to help parties to distinguish their goals/positions from their true interests/needs and bring those goals and interests as close to unity as possible”(Paul Wehr).
Indian view on the conflict.
Instrument of accession- it is evident that a legal document was drafted by the then King to allow merger into the Indian union. This is the main strong point, and the reason why Kashmir belongs to India in the Indian point of view. The document was signed on 26th October 1947.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1172 accepts the fact that India has a legal standing towards the conflict.
Despite being a Muslim majority Kashmir is still a part of secular India and thus the great image of India’s secularity is disturbed if Kashmir is let go off.
Pakistani view on the conflict.
The Pakistanis say that the Maharaja was a tyrant and so his decision was not one which concerned the well being of the people.
Pakistan should have control over Kashmir due to its Muslim majority.
Pakistanis stress on the regular protests by the Kashmiri’s against the Indian rule.
Also the numerous human rights violations against the people of Kashmir are a constant point of argument.
Dynamics- we see that the dynamics to this conflict is psychological. It is a conflict over territory, but what play behind it factors of basic needs, identity and safety. It is an intractable conflict and thus what happens is it involves people all over the world who are affected by it. The psychological dynamics shows how an identity crisis is the crux of the conflict, it has its base set on religious ground a fight between the Muslims and Hindus for a need for identity. It creates behavioral change, violence and protests are just consequences of anger and a thought that injustice is being done to a particular side.
Functions- this conflict as of now looks intractable, if it does end either Pakistan or India will benefit out of it or both as of now it is only creating more and more turmoil and a nation called Kashmir is hanging by threads. The only outcomes of the conflict as of now has been the Line of control, the ceasefire agreement and the future negotiations idea other than that nothing has changed. Violence has continued protests and bombing are done on a regular basis. Kashmir is now said to be a dwelling place of terrorists.
Regulation Potential- as far as we come down the line from the beginning of the Kashmir conflict. We see the only body capable of regulating massive outbreaks of violence in the scenario happens to be the United Nations, the super national peace keeping organization. This conflict must be resolved in order to do so, Bodies of international peace such as the U.N must intervene and set ground to avoid any further violence. A peaceful and WIN-WIN solution must be found. India and Pakistan must sit down and talk solutions to stop promoting this kind of ruthless violence.
Using the conflict map- this map describes in detail, and also gives a person who has no knowledge about the conflict an idea, this map summarizes the conflict. It can be used to bring up ways to solve this dispute, which is not supposed to happen in a civilized era like this. It can be used well to trace problems and mediate positions, a mediator could have good use of this map.
The key reason for a conflict analysis to be done is the need to understand the causes and consequences of a conflict.
The analysis identifies the factors and variables that contribute to the conflict.
In this conflict analysis of the Kashmir conflict I have chosen three levels.
Analyzing key factors.
Analysis of capacities for peace.
Analyzing Key Factors-
We look at two kinds of factors: Structural factors and proximate Conflict factors.
By structural factors we mean factors that existed long back which may be the pillars on which the conflict stands. It may be differences in these conditions that may cause violence or rampant conflicting nature.
In the Kashmir conflict we see the basic structural factor was the partition of India and Pakistan.
The reason that violence continuously takes place is because when Pakistan and India split and the British left, both had interest in getting Kashmir as an additional territory.
Other factors are the Line of control between two sides of Kashmir on side being the Indian Controlled Jammu and Kashmir and the other being Pakistani controlled Azad Kashmir.
Indian and Pakistanis till date argue against each other over how the territory is solely theirs.
To add, a factor which led to controversy would be the rule of the King who was supposedly a tyrant and signed ascension to merge with the Indian union. Also supposedly without the will of the Kashmiris
The fact that this has turned out to be a religious battle despite the fact that to a layman it is well understood to be a territorial one.
Muslims vs. Hindus. The ultimate modern day religious divide.
The economy of Kashmir is not a very good one and so there are added problems with these issues in the background.
The militants/ terrorists who have significant spectacles of outburst with violence, bombings, and protests.
The human rights abuses done to both sides by each other.
The massive protest done by the people of Kashmir against excessive dominance of the Indian armed forces.
Blames thrown from each country to another on the basis of violating agreements like the ceasefire and the Line of control.
Pakistan’s claim from the past 60 odd years on the fact that their needs to be a consideration to the, Kashmir people voices on the situation
The blame that India puts on Pakistan for training terrorists to destruct peace in the Indian controlled side of Kashmir.
Security, Economic, Political and Social factors can be strained out from each side of this table to understand this conflict better.
Hierarchical setting of issues.
Peace and support to generations of troubled Kashmiri people, who do not deserve to be a part of this dog fight.
Line of Control and ceasefire agreements must be respected.
Violence and deaths must stop; there must be an end to terrorism.
Rebuilding economy is key.
Bigger bodies like the united nations must care to intervene in the name of global peace, it must take over the disputed territory and work out a solution with the two countries
Actor analysis- the purpose of this level of analysis is to firstly known the parties involved, to know their interests and aims.
To name the parties we see two primary, India and Pakistan, One secondary the people of Kashmir being affected by the feud between the primary parties and the mediators being the third parties. Also we see terrorists and militants growing in the shadow of this conflict.
(Refer to point no. 5 of the conflict map to see the goals and interests of the two primary parties involved).
Analyzing capacities of peace-
It is hard to really see ways to end this conflict but what is possible is to have possibilities.
If seen the possible moves of this conflict are:
Continue with same situation- this would mean to keep respecting the line of control, and also get the line recognized to be a boundary. Hoping both parties will be happy with the split.
Join Pakistan- this is a popular solution in Kashmir, keeping in mind a majority of Muslims and their religious sentiments. But this would compromise on the ethnicity, diversity and heritage of India.
Join India- this is a practical solution with check to the more stable completion. But this would not be possible since it would create religious disharmony, with the Muslims in Kashmir.
Kashmir stays independent- this would be sensible and a beginning of a new chapter in the history of Kashmir. But sadly not possible since neither of the conflicted parties(India and Pakistan are willing to compromise and give up land they have as a part of their nation.
Kashmir valley solution- most talked about. The move refers to have the Kashmir valley independent, it is known that the Kashmir valley has had the most problems with the Indian control, but many doubt the life of this since the valley is not economically stable at all.
NGOs in Kashmir.
It is logical, that the region of Kashmir needs help. But as discussed before we see how many NGO’s fail to live up to the expectations of a tough and really troubled community.
Surprisingly their has been great benefits to the community with the NGO’s many have learnt how to be sustainable in conditions like these. There is great scope for Upliftment in Kashmir. And in the midst of all the turmoil it is sacrifice for the sake of service and justice that counts after all.
It is best to seek help from the central government or rather register with the central government on entrance to practice in Kashmir. It is a known fact that many NGO’s practice at their own risk in regions of frequent violence in Kashmir.
Things to keep in mind:
To be sincere to the cause since the region is really sensitive and needs help.
To try best to reduce feelings of religious divide.
To help increase the level of literacy in basic communication languages and technology.
To stress on empowering women, and helping them to earn a living and not be exploited.
To provide education in diverse fields and teach coming generations.
To rehabilitate citizens who are a victim of militancy and terrorism.
To enhance facilities like markets, and clean drinking water.
To develop youth and help them to start more job and income creating business, to get sanctions from the government to available business upliftment schemes.
Make aware to the people the realities of the conflict situations.
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