Pakistan: Now or Never?

Perspectives on Pakistan

from India Insight:

Put Kashmiris first, says Crisis Group

Any dialogue between India and Pakistan aimed at a solution to the decades-old Kashmir problem will fail if the two rivals do not first include people living on both sides of Line of Control (LoC) that divides the region, the International Crisis Group says.

A policeman stands guard after a grenade blast in Srinagar October, 6 2009. REUTERS/Danish Ismail/FilesNew Delhi and Islamabad appeared willing to allow more interaction across the LoC but failed to engage Kashmiris in the process, the Crisis Group said in a report titled, "Steps Towards Peace: Putting Kashmiris First."

The latest briefing from the Crisis Group identifies the key political, social and economic needs of Kashmiris that should be addressed on both sides of the divided state.

Here is the complete report.

Samina Ahmed, Crisis Group's South Asia Project Director says the atmosphere of hostility is undermining the progress that had been made in softening the border that also divides the Kashmiri families.

from India Insight:

In Kashmir, nearly half favour independence

Nearly half of the people living in the Indian and Pakistani parts of Kashmir want their disputed and divided state to become an independent country, according to a poll published by think tank Chatham House.

A man walks past closed shops during a strike in Srinagar June 11, 2008. REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli/Files London-based Chatham House says the poll is the first to be conducted on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC), a military control line that has separated Indian and Pakistani controlled Kashmir since the U.N.-brokered ceasefire between two rivals in 1949.

from India Insight:

Will India’s Kashmir talks offer break fresh ground?

New Delhi said this week it will adopt "quiet diplomacy" with every section of political opinion to find a solution to the problems in India-ruled Kashmir about four years after it opened a dialogue with separatist groups there.

The response to the announcement is on expected lines -- the moderates welcoming it and pro-Pakistan hardliners reminding any effort at peace without involving Islamabad would be futile.

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