Can India & Pakistan resolve Kashmir bilaterally or is a big-power mediator the only hope?

India had taken Pakistan’s aggression in Kashmir to the United Nations for a resolution in 1947. The UK and the US, as permanent members of the Security Council, did not make any meaningful effort to implement the UN resolution to end Pakistan’s aggression and hold a plebiscite offered by India.

Instead, they built a Cold War alliance in which Pakistan became mired and the military emerged as the dominant force. That alliance has dwindled but its effects linger as Washington relies on Pakistan to tame the Taliban and the Haqqani group of extremists.

China, the other power that has offered to mediate at different times, itself occupies a part of Kashmir and is in close alliance relationship with Islamabad. Neither the US or China nor the UN have the credentials for mediation.

Mediation requires attention to important questions pertaining to the kind of subcontinent we want, religious coexistence and tolerance, economic ties, and peaceful inter-state relations.  Read More

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