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Kashmir Dispute - Proposed Solutions Third - Fourth phase

The Third Phase: 1969-79 Simla Agreement

Following the third India-Pakistan war in 1971, both countries signed the Simla Pnme Accord in July 1972. Clause ii of the Article VI of the Simla Agreement stated that “In Jammu and Kashmir, the line of control resulting from the cease fire of December 17, 1971, shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognized position of either side. Neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations. Both sides further undertake to refrain from the threat of the use of force in violation of this line.” Article VI of the Simla Agreement further committed both sides to . “discuss further modalities and arrangements for the establishment of durable peace and normalisation of relations, ‘including a final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir and resumption of diplomatic relations.

The Fourth Phase: 1980-90 Robert Wirsing’s Proposal for Constructive External Engagement

Robert Wirsing, a leading American security expert, has suggested that the 1948-49 United Nations resolutions possess little relevance in the wake of the upheavals, insurgency, spread of nationalism and Islamic militancy in Kashmir.

The objective conditions that gave legitimacy to the original notions of plebiscite and self-determination have changed, yet neither India nor Pakistan recognises this. Instead, both remain glued to their traditional positions. Meanwhile, since the break-up of the Soviet Union, the Cold War rivalry of super powers has diminished.
These changes now provide an excellent opportunity for international mediation. Given changes in both the internal situation of Kashmir and the external environment, Wirsing suggests that now ‘international pressure’ can be applied ‘more deliberately, consistently and evenhandedly,’ to resolve the Kashmir issue. He is especially emphatic about ‘evenhandedness:’

“This implies recognition that both India and Pakistan have a legitimate state in Kashmir. Furthermore, that proposals for the settlement of Kashmir cannot possibly move ahead if those making the proposals are thought to be more interested in forging new alliances (or in building up new regional hegemonies) than in forging more peaceful regional relationships. Regional reconciliation, not the reconfiguration of regional power, should be the objective of international intervention. It is the only practical objective. Without it, no settlement of any kind in Kashmir is likely.”

Wirsing links the international mediators’ ‘even-handedness’ with ‘regional reconciliation.’ Unless all parties in the dispute - Indian, Pakistani and Kashmiri - are willing to show signs of compromise and the spirit of give-and-take, no resolution of the problem is likely. He argues that the Kashmir conflict has had a powerful impact on the relationships of both India and Pakistan with the United States. Most conspicuous over the years, perhaps, has been its impact on Washington’s decisions in regard to arms transfers to the region. From 1947 onward, these transfers could not be made without factoring in their probable consequences for the region’s most bitter territorial rival. The conflict has had equally broad impact, however, on a whole range of long-term U.S. policy efforts in the region, including nuclear nonproliferation. A series of crises have threatened, moreover, to escalate into a full-scale war that could, i’ turn, force the unwilling involvement of the United States. Like its Indian and Pakistani clients, the United States was thus in some respects held hostage to the Kashmir problem. This problem could be neglected, perhaps, but not avoided.

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