Good Vibes at SAARC: Is Kashmir Ripe for Resolution?

Posted on April 29, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Foreign Relations
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Adil Najam

Let me confess that the real reason for the post is this photograph above. It shows the leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) leaders in an informal moment of exchange at the 2010 SAARC Summit (L to R): Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, Mohamed Nasheed of Maldives, Manmohan Singh of India, Madhav Kumar Nepal of Nepal, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani of Pakistan, Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and Jigme Yoser Thinley of Bhutan.

I just love the picture: the colors, the composition, the symbolism. Maybe it will turn out that all of the above are exaggerated. So be it. Sometimes you want to hope.

And speaking of hope, I just published a short op-ed (co-authored with Moeed Yusuf) that reports on the deeper academic research paper we had written in Third World Quarterly which analyzes all the proposals made on the resolution of the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan. This is not different from facts that we keep finding out about how close India and Pakistan were to at least a partial resolution, how recently. As in the original paper, and as I have noted here before, we also note in the op-ed in The News that “Windows of opportunity, by definition, are temporary. Unutilized ripeness can turn into staleness and, ultimately, stalemate”:

… the events surrounding the Kashmir dispute have been transpiring – for some time – in a manner that makes the situation ‘ripe’ for resolution. Ripeness increases the potential for conflict resolution and occurs when the subjective perceptions of all parties converge to create a window of opportunity; the latter represents moments in policymaking processes during which breaking the stalemate becomes possible. Ripeness does not guarantee resolution, but it does mean that there is an opportunity and the potential for possible headway.

…Having analyzed nearly 50 proposals recommended throughout the dispute’s history, the research has highlighted an emerging trend in opinion among policy experts. We find that the zone of convergence has increased significantly since the 1990s. Perhaps the most consequential dimension of convergence is the emerging trend on the issue of autonomy as the central pillar of any final resolution. Since the onset of the insurgency in Indian Kashmir in 1989, granting autonomy to all or part of the state has by far been the most recurrent theme in the proposed solutions. This reflects the realization that the current context does not allow either India or Pakistan to dominate Kashmir through a tightly monitored, centralized formulation.

…The general findings highlighted in this article are only to stress that although the issue may be ‘ripe’ today, it will not remain ripe forever. Like other windows of opportunity that have existed in the past, this too will have an expiry date. The key challenge is to move quickly from the broad consensus around autonomy towards specifics about the nature of autonomy, means of actual implementation, defining the precise roles of India, Pakistan, and Kashmiri authorities in an autonomous Kashmir, and mechanisms for future dispute resolution.

…Ultimately, ripeness can only be translated into resolution if the political leadership on both sides can muster the political will required to conceive and implement an agreement on the basis of the latent zone of convergence. Our research finding is that the zone of possible agreement clearly exists and is evident to all sides. Whether the political leadership on the two sides has the political will to capitalize on this ripeness remains to be seen.

The idealist in me would like to believe that the picture above is cause of hope. But there is also a part of me that is realist enough to realize that history is not judged by photo-ops, but by the real actions that those photo-ops signify.

It is good – very good – that the leaders of India and Pakistan are talking. The next step, of course, is to turn talk into action.

26 responses to “Good Vibes at SAARC: Is Kashmir Ripe for Resolution?”

  1. samir sardana says:

    What about the Kashmir Genocide ?

    The Ruling political dispensation of India (Hindoosthan) is a front of the RSS (a quasi wanna be Nazi party).The RSS in its documented history and intellectual posits has admired,co-opted and co-owned Hitler – not merely as a Role Model – but as a Kalki Avatar (re-incarnate) – or an Avatar of Vishnoo – the Hindoo God !

    The “SS part” of the RSS is a lift from the Nazi SS and the “R” stands for “Rats”

    The RSS is infested by the vermins of the Brahmin/Bania/Kayastha triad – which represent the priestly and trading classes of Hindoosthan who never fought a war for their nation – but incited the same and also carried out the largest unknown genocide in History – that of the Buddhists

    The Bhagwad Gita (the REAL Constitution of the Hindoos) JUSTIFIES genocide, w/o remorse,guilt and WITH DIVINE SANCTION.The Indian Military and Para Military,is a race of criminal mercenaries called Kshatriyas – who were the offspring of rapes by the Huns,Mongols,Sakas, Scythians,Persians, Parthinians,Greeks 1500-2000 years ago.These illegitimate litter of rapes and incest, were discarded by their races and interbred interse and intra se, and were treated as outcastes for centuries – until the Brahmins co-opted them as criminal mass murderers (around 1080 years ago) – and who are now in Kashmir – for their FINAL SOLUTION !

    These mercenaries were used 1800 years ago by the Brahmins to extetrminate the Buddhists as atheists and followers
    of a false prophet !

    Nazis are on record JUSTIFYING their actions based on the “thesis” of the Bhagwad Gita, which is explained in this note.

    History Records that the Nazis were “ALSO inspired” by the Gita, per se

    Why the “Nazis and Hitler and Himmler”, love the Gita

    “Dindoo Hindoo Bindoo Gandoos” consider “Hitler to be a Vishnoo Avatar”

    The scene is played – when Krishna the Bhagvat (Hindoo God) was fed up trying to explain to “Arjuna the – why he “needed to exterminate his foes” – this was the “last attempt” in the 18th Chapter of the Gita – and the logic to justify mass murder and genocide, is as under (note the culminating crescendo in 18.1.7 below) :

    Lumen Naturale 1 – There are “5 precedents to sense-perception and action”

    मूल श्लोकः
    शरीरवाङ्मनोभिर्यत्कर्म प्रारभते नरः।
    न्याय्यं वा विपरीतं वा पञ्चैते तस्य हेतवः।।18.15।।

    18.14 The locus as also the agent, the different kinds of organs, the many and distinct activities, and, the “divine is here the fifth”.

    Lumen Naturale 2 – There “5 are causes of all action” and are “independent of the mind and body dualism” of Descartes and “also the Soul “!

    मूल श्लोकः
    यस्य नाहंकृतो भावो बुद्धिर्यस्य न लिप्यते।
    हत्वापि स इमाँल्लोकान्न हन्ति न निबध्यते।।18.17।।

    18.15 For whatever action a man undertakes by his body, speech and mind, whether right or wrong,i.e., enjoined or forbidden by the Sastras, “the following five”, are its causes:

    Lumen Naturale 3 – Hence,you can “kill,murder and rape” – provided it is done with “no ego and no feelings “- for it is the “Act of the Divine” ! Just like the Nazis ! “Heil Krishna,the Bhagwat “!

    मूल श्लोकः
    अधिष्ठानं तथा कर्ता करणं च पृथग्विधम्।
    विविधाश्च पृथक्चेष्टा दैवं चैवात्र पञ्चमम्।।18.14।।

    18.17 He who has not the “feeling of egoism”, whose intellect is not tainted, he does not kill, nor does he become bound-“even by killing these creatures” !

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