India and Pakistan in recent years have been embroiled in a dispute that has threatened to escalate into a full-fledged nuclear war. The dispute has captured the eyes of the international community. The disagreement between the nations has mainly been because of the Kashmir region that is hugely disputed. The region is claimed by both nations and as form 2010, India administered about 43% of the entire region. The government of India has been quoted in many circles stating that the Kashmir region is part of India. The dispute has over the past led to three wars and a fourth one is very likely if the dispute is allowed to escalate to further heights. One the latest incidents that have characterized this dispute have been recent exchange of gunfire in the border that has left several soldiers from both countries dead.
The main actors involved in this dispute have been the governments of both countries together with their military forces. Over the years, the two governments have been at loggerheads and attempts to work things have been hugely futile. Many international experts have accused both governments of being hard headed for not being able to sit down and solving the conflict amicably. The two governments have constantly sent their military and defense forces to the Kashmir region to guard their so-called ‘national interests’. This has actually been one of the factors that have led to the futility of conflict resolution efforts. It is even more interesting to observe until recently, the leaders of both countries have actually not visited each other’s countries for decades. Surely, how can an international dispute be resolved when the leaders of both countries cannot even see eye to eye?
However, there is no doubt that the governments have their lists of preferences of outcomes if the conflict is ever solved. Actually, these preferences are not so different since each country would like to have the entire region. The Kashmir unrest witnessed in 2010 led to statement from the Indian Prime Minister that his government would garnet autonomy to the Kashmir region if a consensus was not reached on this issue according to BBC news.
As stated earlier, several things have hindered the two countries form reaching a resolution. One of these has been the hard headedness of the two countries that have over the years failed to reach a compromise. Lack of collaboration and coordination in conflict resolution efforts has been a constant hindrance to its success. The two governments have been in most cases failed to agree on the matters laid on the discussion table. Furthermore, over the years both countries have developed large armies and the conflict may actually be viewed as test of military power or might. Internal government crisis has actually been another factor that has led to the escalation of the crisis and hindered the success of conflict resolution efforts. This has particularly been prevalent in Pakistan where the local civilian government has been under constant besiegement form the public over the handling of the Kashmir issue.
Had the two countries shown more willingness to engage in coordinated and collaborative conflict resolution efforts, we would definitely be witnessing a new scenario where the countries would actually be existing as good neighbors.
The international community particularly the United States and the European Union have also been actively involved in trying to resolve this crisis. Both have over the years and even recently sent various dignitaries and diplomats to sit the two governments together and come up with a solution. International; organizations like the United Nations have also been involved in the championing of the conflict resolution particularly through the former UN secretary general Kofi Annan and current secretary Ban Ki Moon who have paid countless visits to the regions to champion for piece. However, none of these institutions has been able to fully achieve peace between the two countries. Currently, the international community is constantly getting tired of this conflict and is actually waiting with baited breath to see how this conflict will play out itself.
Sumantra, Bose, "Kashmir," In Contested Lands. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 2012. 184-186.
European MPs concerned at rights violations in Pakistani Kashmir, Thaindian News, 2008-04-13
Swami, Praveen. "ISI paid millions to influence U.S. on Kashmir". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 20 July 2011.
Whitehead, Andrew. "Kashmir crisis comes full circle". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-02-02.