Two Roadmaps for Kashmiri Democracy

By Pratik Raghu
2014, Vol. 6 No. 08 | pg. 4/4 |

Recommending Balance

The preceding analyses should emphasize that both roadmaps are far from perfect. However, abandoning both schemes on the basis of their shortcomings would be inefficient, irresponsible, and, frankly, unfeeling. Even if a middle path between the two roadmap is unfeasible, a plan for peace and that combines their best elements is imperative.

Firstly, a nongovernmental agency or international organization known for impartiality should be tasked with creating and/or modifying a definitive roadmap if necessary but definitely overseeing the transformation of Kashmir. The parliamentary delegation, the JKLF, and even the UN were arguably bound to have vested interests to some degree. These entities, along with , Pakistan, and the Kashmiri leadership, will have to come together to make democracy in Kashmir work, but that does not mean that they should be trusted to fairly set up the democratic mechanisms in question.

In opposition to this, the Carter Center would probably be an excellent organizational candidate for supervising the democratic transition. Having dedicated more than a decade to Sudan’s civil , the Center would be more than capable of placing all key players in Kashmir under during and after the transition.

As far as the features of a hybrid roadmap are concerned, an independent state may not be the answer to all of Kashmir’s problems, but it is exponentially preferable to any continuation of Indian or Pakistani rule. Even if India and Pakistan enter into agreements with Kashmir with genuinely altruistic intentions, far too many of the Kashmiri people have suffered under external domination for far too long to consent to a continuation of the status quo on either side of the border. It goes without saying that avoiding a prolongation of the dispute should be a top priority for all involved.

A conjoining of the two halves of Kashmir in independence could spell something of a fairytale ending to a torrid tale in optimal circumstances. However, the needs of Indian and Pakistani-controlled should be assessed separately before two peoples separated by time and are thrown together. The two halves may need to secure independence separately before they begin to see each other in any sort of brotherly light.

Addressing the needs of both segments would be arduous and time-consuming, but it may well prove a better alternative than throwing everyone and the proverbial kitchen sink into a melting point and hoping for the best. On a different note, the JKLF may have called for a referendum after fifteen years of independence with a view towards emphasizing the empowerment of the Kashmiri people; while their empowerment will be the bedrock of any successful solution to the Kashmir question, a referendum organized by an external entity like the UN may not sit well with Kashmiris wary of intervention from the outside world.

As an alternative to this, any independent state in the Kashmir region could be granted the ability to sign treaties, enter into trade agreements, or even join with its neighbors if its citizens desire such action.

Even if various ethnic, political, and religious groups in Kashmir do not initially or ultimately come together within the boundaries of a single state, dialogue and cultural exchange between them should be encouraged as extensively as possible. Augmented cultural integration and intercultural integration over a period of time may render quarrels between national leaders irrelevant for the most part, maybe even to the extent that reunification will become the only sensible way forward for Kashmir.

A serious collaborative drive to achieve these crucial ends would probably have to involve not only “artists, students, and intellectuals” (Gill and Kumar, 2012), but also entire educational institutions, business leaders and their corporations, administrators of all levels, nonprofit organizations and activists, and policy think tanks, to name but a few potential contributors.

A Long but Imperative Walk to Freedom

This paper began by detailing the historical and political contexts of two roadmaps for Kashmiri peace and democracy put forward by the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front and an Indian parliamentary delegation assembled in 2010. Thereafter several theoretical frameworks, including , liberalism, normative IR, constructivism, and South Asian IR were considered an applied to each roadmap before making recommendations based on this analysis. While just two roadmaps for Kashmir’s future were considered here, plenty more exist, and not all lead toward peace and democracy.

As much as scholars must critically analyze all of these approaches, they also have a moral obligation to discard solutions that stand to harm the Kashmiri people. To ignore decades of suffering and do otherwise would be to ignore one of the most pressing unresolved humanitarian causes of our time. For all the economic, political, and religious motivations intertwined in the Kashmir question, it is Kashmiri men, women, and children who have paid most, in blood and tears, for the ongoing conflict.


References

Barnett, M. (2011) Social Constructivism. In Baylis, J., & Smith, S. (Eds.) The of World Politics (pp. 149-165). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dunne, T. (2011) Liberalism. In Baylis, J., & Smith, S. (Eds.) The Globalization of World Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dunne, T., & Schmidt, B. (2011). Realism. In Baylis, J., & Smith, S. (Eds.) The Globalization of World Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Erskine, T. (2013) Normative IR Theory. In Dunne, T., Milja, K., and Smith, S. (Eds.) International Relations Theories. Oxford: Oxford .

Gill, N. and Kumar, H. (2012) Is This Kashmir’s Road Map for Peace? The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2013, from http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/24/is-this-kashmirs-road-map-for-peace/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Inayatullah, S. (2008) Distant Futures and Alternative Presents for South Asia. In Behera, N. and Chadha, N. (Eds.) International Relations in South Asia: Search for an Alternative Paradigm. New Delhi: Sage Publications.

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front. (n.d.) JKLF Roadmap for Solution of Kashmir Issue. Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front. Retrieved April 26, 2013, from http://jklfajkgbzone.org/index.php/2012-11-23-13-24-14/2012-12-02-19-08-34/jklf-roadmap

Safvi, S. (2013) Protest in Kashmir against life sentences. Press TV. Retrieved April 26, 2013, from http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/04/20/299206/protest-in-kashmir-against-life-sentences/

Who are the Kashmir militants? (2012, August 1) BBC News. Retrieved April 26, 2013, from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-18738906

Suggested Reading from Inquiries Journal

South Asia is not in itself the primary zone of interest of China. However, China has since long used the region’s dynamics to achieve some of its most important strategic goals. Moreover, since India wishes to establish... MORE»
Advertisement
Starting with a high profile push through the region in 2011, the Obama Administration has made the "Pivot to Asia" a central part of American foreign policy. Enlisting regional partners who share strategic interests will be critical to ensuring the success of such efforts, which will be discussed below. U.S.India relations have... MORE»
In May 2012, Shakil Afridi received a sentence of thirty-three years “rigorous imprisonment” and a large fine for aiding foreign intelligence gatherers in their quest for Osama bin Laden. The Pakistani state did not charge Afridi – a doctor from the Khyber area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) &... MORE»
Tribal communities in India mainly consist of forest dwellers who have accumulated a rich knowledge on the uses of various forests and forest products over the centuries. According to Article 342 of the Indian Constitution, the Scheduled Tribes are the tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within these tribes and tribal communities which have been declared as such by the President through a public notification. India possesses a total... MORE»
Submit to Inquiries Journal, Get a Decision in 10-Days

Inquiries Journal provides undergraduate and graduate students around the world a platform for the wide dissemination of academic work over a range of core disciplines.

Representing the work of students from hundreds of institutions around the globe, Inquiries Journal's large database of academic articles is completely free. Learn more | Blog | Submit

Follow SP

Latest in Political Science

2019, Vol. 11 No. 03
Radical thinking among the far-right is a growing security problem for modern western society. Over the past several decades anti-government ideologies have been gaining legitimacy due to controversial interactions between Millennialist fringe religious... Read Article »
2019, Vol. 11 No. 02
In recent years, climate change has been increasingly framed as a security issue, with some theorists going so far as to call it the most important security issue of the 21st century. This paper will examine the relationship between climate change... Read Article »
2019, Vol. 11 No. 02
The Haitian Revolution of 1791 – 1804 was a successful slave rebellion in the French colony of Saint-Domingue that began in the wake of the French Revolution and went on to influence subsequent liberation movements for decades to come. The... Read Article »
2019, Vol. 11 No. 02
American politics today operates in an arena where truth and objective reality are bent to the designs of particular interests, powerful people and commercial profiteers. All facts are questioned; the truth has purposes. Populist and nationalist... Read Article »
2019, Vol. 11 No. 01
Globalization is generally studied as a process that extensively impacts nations and peoples across every aspect of society. Empirical and theoretical research largely focuses on this effect, seeking to discover the impact of an increasingly globalized... Read Article »
2018, Vol. 10 No. 10
The following paper seeks to elucidate the complex processes involved in the Mexican State’s loss of authority and the subsequent acquisition of this authority by armed criminal groups operating in that country. In theoretical terms, this... Read Article »
2018, Vol. 10 No. 07
The Polish populist Law and Justice Party (PiS) overturned the mainstream consensus in Polish politics by returning to power in 2015 with a populist platform, decrying a selfish elite and advancing policies that critics saw as illiberal and authoritarian... Read Article »

What are you looking for?

FROM OUR BLOG

How to Select a Graduate Research Advisor
Presentation Tips 101 (Video)
What is the Secret to Success?