South Asia Monitor: Kashmir: A Taste of Peace - September 01, 2000
September 1, 2000
Violence remains high in Kashmir, and ten years of insurgency have taken a terrible toll on the economy and on ordinary people's lives. Two initiatives in the past few months may have started building a political foundation for peace in Kashmir. In June, the Kashmir State Assembly requested the Indian government to restore Kashmir's pre-1953 autonomy. In July, the Indian government and one of the militant groups declared a temporary ceasefire to permit talks. Both efforts fell apart quickly, but for the first time they generated stirrings of hope and creativity in Kashmir, as well as in India and Pakistan. If efforts at another peace initiative bear fruit, the process is sure to be difficult and crisis-ridden, but the past two months' experience may teach the participants something about how to get discussions started.