To mark the 70th anniversary of the independence of India, Pakistan and the conflict over Jammu and Kashmir, in September 2017 Conciliation Resources facilitated a series of events in London and Washington D.C.
The discussions involved senior interlocutors from India and Pakistan, as well as policy and think-tank experts from the US and UK, and civil society members from both sides of Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. While diverse views were shared on the complex issues surrounding the Kashmir conflict, an overwhelming consensus existed amongst the participants of the benefits of facilitated dialogue at various levels and the need for renewed peace efforts.
A number of roundtable discussions were organised in collaboration with Chatham House, Georgetown University, the Woodrow Wilson Center and the United States Institute for Peace. Keynote speakers included Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Ambassador Nirupama Rao, Ambassador Satinder Lambah and Ambassador Richard Verma, as well as members of the Kashmir Initiative Group.
The discussions, inviting varied perspectives, were an attempt to facilitate constructive conversations and provide an exchange with policymakers in the US and UK on these issues. Different thoughts were shared on the varying and complex issues around the Kashmir conflict as well as on the long history of tense relations between the two south Asian neighbours. Despite this, there was a clear consensus amongst the participants that dialogue should continue to be facilitated. Recognising the suffering of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the participants emphasised the need for promoting regional cooperation and making renewed efforts to initiate an inclusive and productive peace process in the region.