ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Across the LOC: A Political Conundrum

The spotlight has turned on the state and people-led violence in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. Across the Line of Control there are other issues. An analysis of the political and institutional conditions in Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir shows that Pakistan's federal government keeps the region under strict control and people lack political freedoms. The governments of both India and Pakistan need to strengthen democracy in the regions under their control since it is only through fulfilment of the democratic aspirations of the people that a viable solution will emerge.

Kashmir: Local Self-Governance As the Key to a Solution

The massive public protests in Kashmir in recent weeks are a fallout of a deep-seated frustration of the people with the political system. The lack of local self-governance and autonomous, statutory institutions leads to a concentration of powers sans accountability at the top. This makes it difficult to address the different and varied demands of the people of a diverse state like Jammu and Kashmir. Political reforms are thus central to any solution to the cycle of violence.

Pakistan's Northern Areas: Time for a Reality Check

Pakistan's move to grant provincial status to its Northern Areas, formally a part of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir, should be seen as part of the process that aims to revisit the Kashmir dispute on the basis of pragmatism. Even though the move has been criticised by India and Kashmiri independence groups, Pakistan's political package to the Northern Areas may be a step in the right direction.

Omar's Journey

"To accept that the man (Farooq Abdullah) will accept anything that you throw at him like some sort of grateful dog waiting for scrap is to add salt to the wounds you have inflicted”, Omar Abdullah said in an interview to a TV channel much to the dismay of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan administered Kashmir: Complex Socio-Political Set-up

New socio-political forces emerging at the micro level in Pakistan administered Kashmir are changing the status quo, with the ruling political elite now facing the stiffest of challenges. Rajput-soodhan caste groups, which have wielded considerable influence in the political set-up of PAK, are facing challenges from the gujjar-jat castes living in the south. The desire to open up the line of control is also intense in PAK and shows that the wounds of history have started healing. The leadership of both India and Pakistan need to further cement the bonds of language and culture between the two parts of the state.

Jammu and Kashmir: Right Time for Congress

As borne out by numerous instances in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, regional rivalries have taken on communal tensions, that have threatened the development of harmonious relations in the state. The Congress taking over the reins of governance in the state has a rich opportunity to address these past mistakes, and take measures to ensure decentralisation of governance and empowerment at the lowest levels.

For a Durable Solution in Kashmir

The resumption of dialogue between the Indian government and the Hurriyat has renewed prospects for a permanent solution to the J and K problem. But other leaders in the region have challenged the Hurriyat's leadership as the latter does not represent all communities in the state. Steps towards a durable peace can only begin with the participation of all communities and a better understanding of the region's long history.

Jammu and Kashmir: Symbolism at Its Best

Two recent developments - the civic elections and the proposed bus service - have been seen as the first steps toward ensuring a return to 'normalcy' in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir. But more remains to be done, especially on the part of the J and K government, before true autonomy begins in the grass roots level.

Jammu and Kashmir : Crisis of Leadership

The collapse of mainstream leadership due to deficient institutions is directly contributing to the reversal of people's participation in the democratic process that began in the 2002 assembly elections.

Jammu and Kashmir: Vote for Pluralism

Whatever be the percentage of polling, the democratic experiment in the state has yielded some positive results that need to be carried forward. The parliamentary results in the three culturally distinct regions of the state point to a strong assertion of ethnic identities.

Kashmir: Tackling Militancy in Jammu

Even as the Kashmir Valley is returning to normalcy, militancy in Jammu appears to be picking up. The peculiar social and political background of the region, so different from the rest of the state needs to be taken into account in addressing the continuing militancy.

India-Pakistan Relations : Towards a Softer Border

A move towards softening the India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir will be a humanitarian initiative, making it possible for divided families and villages to reach across.


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