In brief: Kashmir - volatile stalemate - Commons Library Standard Note

Published 08 August 2013 | Standard notes SN05773

Authors: Jon Lunn

Topic: Asia, Human rights, International politics and government, Terrorism

India and Pakistan’s capacity and commitment to agree a peace deal and resolve the Kashmir dispute remains as uncertain as ever. Following an armed clash on 6 August along the Line of Control, in which five Indian soldiers were killed, some Indian voices are now calling for another halt to the faltering 'composite dialogue' between the two countries.

After the last major outbreak of unrest and violence in Indian Kashmir in 2010, the Congress-led government in India appeared more willing than in the past to listen to the grievances of ordinary Kashmiris, but any initial goodwill this may have generated is now being severely depleted. In 2010 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh established a high-level panel (also known as ‘the interlocutors’) to begin a process of sustained dialogue with Kashmiris. The panel submitted its final report to the Indian government in October 2011, but it was only reluctantly made public in May 2012. Perhaps inevitably, virtually all stakeholders found something to object about in the report. The opposition BJP, which opposes Jammu and Kashmir’s distinctive status, dismissed the report with contempt. The government has itself largely ignored the report.

While the level and frequency of street protest or armed attacks against official targets is not yet anywhere near as high as in the past, both have increased markedly since February 2013, when a death sentence against a Kashmiri militant was carried out by the Indian authorities.

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