Home Contact Us
Search :
   

J&K - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#2292, 16 May 2007
 
Third Round Table Conference on Kashmir: Is there a Consensus?
Mridusmita Borah
Research Associate
Centre for Strategic Studies and Simulation (CS-3)
United Service Institution of India (USI)
e-mail: mridusmitaborah@rediffmail.com
 

On 24 April 2007, the third Round Table Conference (RTC) took place in Delhi along with the four Working Groups. The aim was to develop an agreed vision for Jammu and Kashmir's (J&K) future. The Groups presented their respective recommendations to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his consideration. The chief aim was to seek a consensus for peace in Kashmir through the process of development and good governance. This gives rise to a number of queries: What are the implications of their recommendations? Is there a full consensus among the politicians and other groups on the best method to move forward and serve the interests of the people of the state? Do the reports 'contain the seeds' of a forward movement?

The heads of the four Working Groups include Mohammed Hamid Ansari, Chairman, National Minorities Commission, M.K. Rasgotra, former Foreign Secretary, N.C. Saxena, member of the Planning Commission, and C. Rangarajan, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. They came out with their respective recommendations, which require immediate attention.

Ansari's working group talked about Confidence Building Measures (CBM's) and demanded a review of laws made operational to fight militancy, like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) or the Disturbed Areas Act, but that have had an adverse effect on the public by impinging on their fundamental rights. Accordingly, it asserted that general amnesty be given to those under trial for minor offences and those who are innocent. Rasgotra's group, on strengthening cross-Line of Control (LOC) relationships, laid out possible contours for cooperation between the two parts of J&K. It suggested that a joint working group/ committee, of 10 members each from the legislatures of both sides, be constituted to exchange views periodically on social, economic, cultural, and trade-related matters of mutual interest. Saxena's working group on good governance noted that the State Human Rights Commission requires strengthening, and also called for the creation of a high-powered committee, including political representatives and civil society members, for enforcing human rights. While Rangarajan's working group, on economic issues focused on the reconstruction of the existing infrastructure, and offered pragmatic suggestions for a bottom-up revival of the State's economy.

However, on a more pessimistic note, some groups are not ready to seek a mutual consensus. For instance, the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) is refusing to join hands with the major political parties and groups to draw out a mutually agreed outcome. It is to be noted that the Hizbul Mujahidden, the hardline leader Syed Ali Shah's Tehreek-e-Hurriyat and also Mirwaiz Farooq have called for the repeal of special laws and respect for human rights on several occasions. In this light, it is mystifying that the APHC is refusing to strengthen those in the State asking for the same things by participating in a multi-party dialogue involving all major groups. In a more staid statement, Syed Ali Shah Gilani said, "nations decide their future by consensus, not by bits and pieces". All these bring us to an understanding that the working groups' recommendations on some key issues do not match the demands of the secessionist groups like the APHC.

It is crucial to note that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also disassociated itself from the working groups on the ground that the recommendations of the working group have been imposed upon them. They also believe that the People's Democratic Party (PDP), the Congress and the National Conference (NC) have a close nexus and their decisions will take J&K further away from peace than bring it near.

It is clear that if the parties are not able to leave behind their squabble and arrive at an unanimous agreement on the basic principles of the State's political future, the whole design of such an exercise will loose its credibility. The chief aim should, therefore, be to 'blend together the missing pieces' and not only to solve the 'peace puzzle'.

Whatsoever be the final outcome, the most defining feature of this RTC is that these proposals have given rise to an inquisitive coalition among the leaders of the conference including Islamists and Hindu nationalists, and has provided them an opportunity to consider their respective positions. It is to be hoped, then, that these working groups will sow the seeds for a forward movement in J&K.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary

D Suba Chandran
Across the Durand Line: Who is in Control Now? Will That Change?
Taliban Talks and the Four Horsemen: Between Peace and Apocalypse
Pakistan: Talks about Talks with the Taliban, Again
Dateline Islamabad

Salma Malik
Pakistan and TTP: Dialogue or Military Action?
The Musharraf Trial & Beyond

Dateline Kabul

Mariam Safi
Afghanistan, US and the Peace Process: A Deal with the Taliban in 2014?
Dhaka Discourse

Prof Delwar Hossain
Bangladesh: Domestic Politics and External Actors
Bangladesh Post Elections 2014: Redefining Domestic Politics?

Eagle Eye

Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
US in Asia: A 'Non-Alignment' Strategy?
Indo-US Strategic Partnership Post Khobragade: The Long Shadow
East Asia Compass

Dr Sandip Mishra
North Korean Peace Gestures and Inter-Korea Relations
Japan: Implications of Indiscriminate Assertiveness
China, Japan, Korea and the US: Region at Crossroads

Himalayan Frontier

Pramod Jaiswal
Chinese Inroads to Nepal
Constituent Assembly-II: Rifts Emerging
Nepal: The Crisis over Proportional Representation and the RPP Divide
Maritime Matters

Vijay Sakhuja
Increasing Maritime Competition: IORA, IONS, Milan and the Indian Ocean Networks
China in the Indian Ocean: Deep Sea Forays
Iran Navy: Developing Long Sea Legs

Middle Kingdom

DS Rajan
China in the Indian Ocean: Competing Priorities
China-Japan Friction: How can India Respond?
Nuke Street

Amb Sheelkant Sharma
Nuclear Security Summit 2014 and the NTI Index
Nuclear Power: An Annual Report Card

Red Affairs

Bibhu Prasad
Maoists in the Northeast: Reality and Myth-Making
Surrender of Gudsa Usendi: Ominous beginning for the Naxals?
South Asian Dialectic

PR Chari
Federalism: Centre as Coordinator and Adjudicator
Limits of Federalism

Spotlight West Asia

Amb Ranjit Gupta
Saudi Arabia-US Estrangement: Implications for the Indian Subcontinent
Syria Today: Is Regime Change the Answer?
The Arab World: Trying Times Ahead
Strategic Space

Manpreet Sethi
US, China and the South Asian Nuclear Construct
Responding to Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: A Strategy for India

The Strategist

Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Strategic Non-Nuclear Weapons: An Essential Consort to a Doctrine of No First Use
 

OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Charter of Democracy: A New Debate in Pakistan

Indo-Russian Relations: Unfolding a New Chapter

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2014
 January  February  March  April
 2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006
 2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999  1998
 1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map | IPCS Email
B 7/3 Lower Ground Floor, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi 110029, INDIA.
Tel: 91-11-4100 1900, 4165 2556, 4165 2557, 4165 2558, 4165 2559 Fax: (91-11) 41652560
Email:
© Copyright 2014, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
        Web Design by http://www.indiainternets.com