Peacebuilding in Jammu and Kashmir

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Peacebuilding in Jammu and Kashmir includes confidence-building measures at a nation-state level between the governments of India and Pakistan, track two diplomacy, as well as initiatives by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), institutes and individuals.[1][2] The purpose of peacebuilding in Jammu and Kashmir include conflict prevention and reduction of hostilities in the Kashmir Valley. Many countries such as Russia, United States and China have also played a de-escalatory role with regard to tensions in the region.[3][4][5]


In 27 years, between 1990 and 2017, insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir has claimed a total of 41,000 lives (14,000 civilians, 5,000 security personnel and 22,000 militants) according to government figures made available in 2017.[6] India and Pakistan have also fought three wars in Kashmir during 1947–1948, 1965 and the Kargil War in 1999.[7][8][9]

List of Initiatives[edit]

Indian Initiatives[edit]

appointment of interlocutors and various committees

The appointment of interlocutors as a tactic for coping with the Kashmir issue traces its origins back to the 1960s, when Prime minister Nehru appointed All Bahadur Shastri to manage tensions following the chaotic events of 1963. Since then, a number of such initiatives have been launched , including a three-member team of interlocutors the central government appointed in response to the 2010 unrest.

K C PANT, 2001

In May 2001, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government announced the appointment of KC Pant, former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, as its interlocutor on Kashmir, with the brief of talking to various groups in the valley and recommending ways to ease tensions between the Centre and the state.

Pakistani Initiatives[edit]

Indian central and state government initiatives[edit]

  • The People's Democratic Party (PDP) government's 'healing touch' policy between 2002 and 2005 included freeing jailed militants, reducing operations by the security forces, increasing free movement of people by reducing police checks, all part of initiatives aimed at pushing forward a more "humane approach" by the administration, especially the security forces.[10][11][12] Mufti Mohammad Syed, a chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir said that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had supported the healing touch policy.[13] Mehbooba Mufti, the ninth Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, tried to revive the "healing touch" policy during her term (2016–2018), with initiatives such as the withdrawal of FIRs against over 9,700 youth and cash compensations for pellet victims.[14] The cases withdrawn were related to people involved in stone-pelting incidents in the region between 2008 and 2017.[15]
  • In 2010, the Omar Abdullah government introduced the "surrender and rehabilitation policy", allowing former militants who had crossed the Line-of-Control into Pakistan, to come back to India. Over 400 militants utilised the policy.[16][17]
  • "Valley-centric" approaches have resulted in discontent among other communities in the region such as Ladhaki Buddhists. Formation of "Autonomous Hill Councils" in the Leh district and Kargil district have proven to be a successful peacebuilding initiative in this aspect according to Navnita Chadha Behera.[10] In September 2018, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council was given more powers, making it "among the most autonomous councils" in India.[18]
  • Operation Sadbhavana in Jammu and Kashmir is an Indian Army initiative which involves welfare measures such as infrastructure development, medical care, women and youth empowerment, educational tours and sports tournaments among other initiatives.[19]
    The 12th President of India, Pratibha Devisingh Patil with the members of the National Integration Tour for senior citizens of Operation Sadbhavana from Mendhar Tehsil, Jammu and Kashmir, in New Delhi on 9 March 2009

Indo-Pakistani initiatives in relation to Kashmir[edit]

  • The Karavan-e-Aman (Caravan of Peace), a bus service connecting Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) and Muzaffarabad (Azad Kashmir), was started in 2005.[20] In 2006, a second bus line started between Poonch (Jammu and Kashmir) and Rawalakot (Azad Kashmir).[21][22] In 2008 trade started on these routes, opening Jammu and Kashmir's traditional trading centres to the west for the first time since 1947.[20] The trade is tightly regulated.[20] During times of heightened tension, the routes are closed, such as was the case from July to August 2016.[23]
  • The "Neemrana dialogue" was launched in 1991 as a track 2 initiative between India and Pakistan.[24] Due to the Mumbai attacks, Uri attack and the following 2016 Indian Line of Control strike, there were no official talks between the two countries until April 2018.[24] Topics discussed in the dialogue interaction in 2018 included Kashmir, Siachen conflict and the Line of Control situation.[25][26]


  • Many countries such as China have played a role in the deescalation of conflict in the region.[4]
  • Athwass, (Kashmiri for handshake), was an initiative by a south Asian think tank, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), in 2000, that brought together women from Kashmiri Pandit, Muslim and Sikh communities for the first time since the rise of militancy in the Kashmir valley in 1990.[27] WISCOMP also organises the "Kashmiri Women Writers Meet", aiming to bring together women from conflicting perspectives using literature.[28] On 23 March 2017, WISCOMP conducted a one-day dialogue on ‘Echoes and Resonances: Critical Challenges for Youth and Peace Building in Kashmir’.[29] WISCOMP is an initiative of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of the Dalai Lama.[30]
  • Various NGOs in the region working on initiatives related to peacebuilding include the Borderless World Foundation, "Yakjah Reconciliation and Development Network" and the "Human Effort for Love and Peace (HELP) Foundation, J&K".[31][32] The Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation has conducted various initiatives in Kashmir for over fifteen years including peace education training.[33][34]


  • Kashmir and Kashmiris are sidelined in the rivalry between India and Pakistan, with the resolution of the Kashmir issue being seen in the context of Indo-Pak relations. As a result, the interests of the Kashmiris have been overshadowed.[35][36] Mohini Giri, in a short statement at the Human Rights Council in 2014, said that "Kashmiri civil society (not just the separatists) should be able to voice their aspirations at any negotiating table".[37][38]
  • According to Susheela Bhan who conducts "ethics and values based education" in government schools in Jammu and Kashmir, students from rural areas are most prone to violence, and "through education they can become important contributors to peace".[39] (Despite Jammu and Kashmir being the only state in India that provides free education at all levels, the average literacy in Jammu and Kashmir is lower than the national Indian average).[20]
  • According to an exploratory study by A Subramanyam Raju, first and second generation Indians want to get back Pakistan-administered Kashmir, but the third generation wants to "solve the issue peacefully and amicably".[40]
  • Tourism is often discussed in the context of Jammu and Kashmir as a peacebuilding measure.[1][41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Chari, P. R.; Chandran, D. Suba; Akhtar, Shaheen (July 2011). "Tourism and Peacebuilding in Jammu and Kashmir" (PDF). United States Institute for Peace. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Track-2 diplomacy on Kashmir under way". DAWN. 24 June 2004. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  3. ^ Parthasarathy, G. (19 September 2019). "India, too, has an all-weather friend". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 29 November 2019. Lavrov, in response, "emphasised the need for de-escalation of tensions".
  4. ^ a b Chang, I-wei Jennifer (9 February 2017). "China's Kashmir Policies and Crisis Management in South Asia". United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  5. ^ PTI (14 September 2019). "US senators urge India and Pakistan to 'de-escalate tensions' on J&K issue". Livemint. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  6. ^ Jacob, Jayanth; Naqshbandi, Aurangzeb (25 September 2017). "41,000 deaths in 27 years: The anatomy of Kashmir militancy in numbers". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 4 May 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Indo-Pakistan War of 1965". Global Security. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Kargil War: All you need to know about Kargil War". The Economic Times. 26 July 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  9. ^ "A brief history of the Kashmir conflict". The Telegraph. 24 September 2001. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  10. ^ a b Behera, Navnita Chadha (2013). "Conflict, governance and peacebuilding in Kashmir". Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  11. ^ Vinayak, Ramesh (9 December 2001). "PDP's healing touch policy on firing line as Jammu attacks put Congress on defensive". India Today. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  12. ^ Yusuf, Shabir Ibn (7 January 2016). "Mufti's 'healing touch' policy changed JK's security scenario". Greater Kashmir. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  13. ^ PTI (8 June 2008). "Vajpayee, Advani endorsed PDP's healing touch policy: Mufti". Outlook India. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  14. ^ Outlook Monitoring Bureau (25 January 2018). "Jammu & Kashmir CM Says She Will Describes Withdrawal Of FIRs Against 9700 Youths As Major Humanitarian Gesture". Outlook India. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  15. ^ "J&K govt okays withdrawal of stone-pelting cases against 9,730 people". The Times of India. PTI. 3 February 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  16. ^ PTI (31 March 2015). "Bharatiya Janata Party demands scrapping of 'surrender, rehabilitation policy'". The Financial Express. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  17. ^ Mushtaq, Sheikh (16 May 2011). "Are Kashmiri militants ready to return home from Pakistan?". Reuters. Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Ladakh Hill Council gets more fiscal, administrative powers". Greater Kashmir. 27 September 2018. Archived from the original on 2 February 2019.
  19. ^ Dr. Arpita Anant. (2011) Counterinsurgency and "Op Sadhbhavana" in Jammu and Kashmir. Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses New Delhi.
  20. ^ a b c d "Steps Towards Peace: Putting Kashmiris First" (PDF). International Crisis Group. 3 June 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  21. ^ Mughal, Roshan (16 April 2011). "Intra-Kashmir bus service completes six years". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  22. ^ PTI (3 May 2006). "Poonch-Rawalkot bus service from June 19". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  23. ^ PTI (3 August 2017). "Cross-LoC travel and trade to resume on Srinagar-Muzzaffarabad route". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  24. ^ a b Shreyas, Ananth (7 May 2018). "Neemrana dialogue: India-Pakistan Track II initiative dialogue, just another case of optics?". The Financial Express. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  25. ^ Hussain, Sajjad (2 May 2018). "India, Pakistan Revive Track II Diplomacy". The Wire. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  26. ^ Mohan, Geeta (2 May 2018). "Re-start of India-Pakistan track II dialogue a 'political message', say sources". India Today. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  27. ^ Banerjee, Paula (2008). Women in Peace Politics. Delhi: SAGE Publications India. p. 65. ISBN 9788178299686.
  28. ^ "Ashima Kaul". Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  29. ^ "Echoes and Resonances: Critical Challenges for Youth and Peace Building in Kashmir". Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  30. ^ "WISCOMP Saahas Awards Honour Youth Countering Violence Against Women". NDTV. Edited by Shihabudeen Kunju S. 16 March 2017. Archived from the original on 4 May 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  31. ^ "Yakjah Reconciliation and Development Network". Peace Insight. December 2018. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  32. ^ "About Us". HELP (Human Effort for Love and Peace) Foundation J&K. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  33. ^ "Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation (CDR)". Peace Insight. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  34. ^ Jacob, Happymon (23 June 2019). "Understanding Kashmir: Civil Initiatives for Dialogue and Peace". The Wire. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  35. ^ Schaffer, Teresita; Schaffer, Howard (17 January 2006). "Kashmir: The Economics of Peace-Building". Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  36. ^ Sarwar, Eaman (Spring 2017). "Peacebuilding in Jammu and Kashmir State: A Proposed Intervention" (PDF). Perspectives on Global Issues, Center of Global Affairs at New York University. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  37. ^ "Peacebuilding in Jammu and Kashmir". Widows for Peace through Democracy. 1 October 2014. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  38. ^ Giri, Mohini (17 September 2014). "Panel-Statement, UN Human Rights Council Session 27" (PDF). Widows for Peace. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  39. ^ Singh, Pratibha (May 2013). "Education and Peace Building in Kashmir" (PDF). Centre for Land and Warfare Studies (CLAWS). Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  40. ^ Raju, A Subramanyam (April 2001). Third-Generation Indian Perceptions of the Kashmir Issue (PDF). Colombo, Sri Lanka: Regional Centre for Strategic Studies. ISBN 9558051209.
  41. ^ Chauhan, Vinay; Khanna, Suvidha (May 2008). "Tourism: A Tool for Crafting Peace Process in Kashmir, J&K, India" (PDF). Tourismos: An International Multidisciplinary Journal of Tourism. 4 (2, Autumn 2009): 69–89 – via Munich Personal RePEc Archive.


Further reading[edit]