US Signals Concern for Kashmir Dispute – What Does It Mean?

US Signals Concern for Kashmir Dispute – What Does It Mean?

by Haifa Peerzada

A very significant development took place over the Kashmir issue, which can prove to be a game changer for India as well as Jammu and Kashmir. This longstanding dispute has been for the first time been introduced as a part of institutionalized US-Pakistan strategic dialogue. Sartaj Aziz and John Kerry met on 29th February, 2016 and came out with a Joint statement emphasizing on the importance of taking steps towards resolving the outstanding disputes in South Asia, including Kashmir. Kashmir dispute which is considered to be a bi-lateral issue by the international community and the United States are now showing growing concern over the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan. This eventful step by the US clearly shows its insecurity and fear over the impending instability in the South Asian region, underscored by the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan. With Pakistan seeking to internationalise the issue, India’s aggressive stand to not engage with pro-freedom factions in Kashmir and Kashmir’s internal deterioration has given room to Pakistan for engaging with the US on Kashmir issue. India needs to take note of it and get proactive about resolving the dispute.

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Kashmir Dispute and Kashmir Floods Disaster – A Causal Link

Kashmir Dispute and Kashmir Floods Disaster – A Causal Link

by Haifa Peerzada

Kashmir encountered its worst floods in the last 60 years, in which the exact toll of disaster still remains to be accounted for.  Though the relief operations are still going on, there does not seem to be any coordinated effort on the part of the state government or that at the Centre for easing the magnitude of the disaster that engulfed Indian administered Kashmir and the Pakistan administered Kashmir. Though the mainstream Indian media have reportedly been glorifying the efforts of army and other para military troops in Kashmir but they have completely discredited the efforts of local Kashmiri volunteers whose rules were more instrumental in providing rescue and relief operations to the flood victims in the inundated areas. Besides, very less or no analysis has been done on the direct causal link between this catastrophic disaster and the Kashmir dispute.

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Fifteen Years after the Kargil War and the Kashmir Dispute

Fifteen Years after the Kargil War and the Kashmir Dispute

By Haifa Peerzada

It has been 15 years since Kargil War ended and yet there does not seem to be any substantial improvement in the estranged relations between India and Pakistan. Let us take a sneak preview of the last 15 years to see the recurring events and compare them with the fundamental trends. This is an essential exercise, to see where the existential rivalry between India and Pakistan stands today, which has not helped the resolution of the Kashmir dispute in so far as inter-state axis of the issue, is concerned. The so called peace process or the composite dialogue between India and Pakistan has been more of a roller coaster ride, as the obstacles in the peace process have not abated, even till date.

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Grassroots Level Democracy in Kashmir

Grassroots Level Democracy in Kashmir

By Haifa Peerzada

As the elections are underway for a much awaited change of political leadership in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, some of the basic essentials of good governance have not been given much attention or they have been ignored. With the killing of a Sarpanch associated with PDP, the issue of fragile self-governance at local levels in Jammu and Kashmir has again come to fore. This issue cuts right at the core of a larger issue which seeks to devolve more powers to the local authorities which may in turn lead to better development and good governance, free of corruption. But even this seems to be co-opted by the power politics in which various political parties religiously indulge.

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Omar Abdullah on BBC Hard Talk

Omar Abdullah on BBC Hard Talk

by Haifa Peerzada

The BBC Hard talk with Omar Abdullah was quite intriguing, interesting and definitely elicits some reflection. In the first instance, what caught my attention was that the host, Stephen Sackur attributed the talk to the Prospects for Peace in Kashmir after introducing Mr. Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. So the impression that it gave me in the first place was that there would be an objective analysis of this long standing dispute with its chief minister. I was in fact hoping for it to be one of the milestone talks by Omar Abdullah that would create ripples in India and the world. Another thing that made it interesting was the location of the talk. This talk was held in front of an audience at Delhi. Though everyone told me not to expect much of objectivity from a politician speaking in New Delhi about “Kashmir”, yet I thought I must still watch it and without holding any pre-conceived notions I watched it. Following are some of my observations about the talk, which I thought I could share with everyone.

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LOC Ceasefire Violations: A Conundrum of Perception and Reality

LOC Ceasefire Violations: A Conundrum of Perception and Reality

by Haifa Peerzada

Reality now is that Line of Control (LOC) ceasefire violations have continued unabated since the beginning of 2013 and the negativity that resonates from it is that both India and Pakistan blame each other for ceasefire violations underscored by distrust, lack of empathy for each other, and threat and fear of the conflict escalating to an all-out conventional war or even nuclear war. All this finds expression in the negative attitudes and behaviors of India and Pakistan towards each other, which has over a period of time culminated into a negative perception which does not allow de-escalation of the conflict between the two. Media plays its role in forming these perceptions. Perceptions may be right or wrong, but if negatively perceived may prove counter-productive in a conflict situation which culminates into the structural and institutional fallacies of the system as well.  

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Reorganization of the State of Jammu and Kashmir

Reorganization of the State of Jammu and Kashmir

by Haifa Peerzada

The history of Reorganization of the Indian states clearly shows that the Reorganization of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is difficult due to the internal and external exigencies in J&K, which makes it a special case, prevents its reorganization, and history – both recent and past bear testimony to that. Nevertheless its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution of India for its integration into the Indian Union has made things even more complicated. While there is difference in perceptions as far as special status of J&K is concerned, there is national consensus for its fullest integration into the Indian Union.

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2013 Upper House Election Result in Japan and Future of Article 9

2013 Upper House Election Result in Japan and Future of Article 9

Yuki Yoshida*

On July 21, the ruling coalition consisting of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Komei party collectively won more than 70 seats, making them become a dominant power in both lower and upper houses. However, I was scared of smiles of both Prime Minister Abe and Secretary-General of LDP Ishiba during the interview because one of their main goals is to amend Article 9 of the constitution, and as a result of this election, the ruling coalition succeeded in creating a better environment conducive for their policies to get passed at both houses. Article 9 states, “…the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.” The article is well known in the international community and has kept Japan away from armed conflicts since WWII.

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Rehabilitation Policy and Possibility of Reconciliation

Rehabilitation Policy and Possibility of Reconciliation

by Haifa Peerzada

While some surrendered militants have been accommodated and rehabilitated, majority of them still face difficulties on account of basic structural and institutional problems. Disillusioned by this, there is also a fear of getting thrown back to 1990’s. It is also facilitated as a part of a broader goal of long term settlement of the Kashmir Conflict by India and Pakistan. What will finally lead to the success of this rehabilitation policy and reconciliation?

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Q & A with Marios Efthymiopoulos: US Foreign Policy, Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean, and North Korea

Q & A with Marios Efthymiopoulos: US Foreign Policy, Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean, and North Korea

Marios P. Efthymiopoulos is the CEO and Founder of the Greece-based international think tank Strategy International. Dr. Efthymiopoulos held multiple positions as a visiting scholar, researcher, lecturer, and analyst in the United States, Italy, Greece, and Cyprus. He has written extensively on NATO, Transatlantic relations, Greek foreign policy, the Eastern Mediterranean, cyber-security, and international security; at the same time he has contributed to TV and radio discussions and debates in the US, Greece, and Europe. Among many other scholarly publications, Dr. Efthymiopoulos has published two books in Greek with Sakkoulas Publications: “NATO in the 21st Century: The Need for a New Strategic Doctrine and the Expansion of NATO-Russia relations” (2008); and “Strategic Security and Transatlantic Relations” (2012). He is currently also co-editing a book on Cyber-Security due to be published in 2013 by Springer publications. In this interview with The Globalized World Post he talked with Zenonas Tziarras, editor of the magazine, about international affairs and security with specific regard to the recent bombings in Boston, the geopolitics of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, as well as North Korea. The discussion revolved around policy-related subjects while the issues raised bear great significance for the current and future state of regional and international affairs. Continue reading