The conflict in and around the disputed regions of Jammu and Kashmir has its roots in independence in 1947, when British India was divided between India and Pakistan. Outbreaks of war occurred between the two countries in 1947, 1965 and 1971. A militant insurgency, which displayed increased levels of violence from 1989, has led to tens of thousands of deaths.
In the context of ongoing insecurity in Afghanistan, and with both India and Pakistan possessing nuclear weapons, the persistence of instability in Kashmir poses a real threat to regional security in South Asia.
Conciliation Resources supports civil society to play a more dynamic and proactive role in peacebuilding in the region. Our goal is to enhance the prospects for a non-violent and just transformation of the conflict over the disputed territories of Jammu and Kashmir.
There are few avenues for the diverse population of Jammu and Kashmiri to be included in peacebulding processes. We believe that greater participation by the people of Jammu and Kashmir will create a more productive India-Pakistan peace process to resolve the Kashmir conflict, recognising that in order to achieve any sustainable settlement it must be acceptable to all sides.
Enhancing peacebuilding capacity
Conciliation Resources promotes ownership of and participation by Kashmiris in the India–Pakistan peace process. We work in all of the regions of the disputed area including Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, and in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. We also work with the diasporas.
Our aim is to develop the peacebuilding capacities of people on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and contribute to informal peacebuilding processes, by facilitating shared analysis, dialogue and practical engagement at regional and cross-LoC levels.
We work to:
- Strengthen confidence across the LoC particularly in the realms of trade and higher education
- Increase the peacebuilding skills and influence of a number of NGOs
- Increase the engagement of women and youth in peacebuilding
The difference we make
Using our experience of peacebulding from other conflict contexts, and our knowledge of the conflict over Jammu and Kashmir, we are able to work with partners to strengthen their organisational capacities. Critically we have been able to play a bridging role in facilitating connections across the LoC that otherwise are difficult to initiate and sustain.
Over the past two years we have brought members of civil society from across the LoC together on a number of occasions and in addition over 400 people have taken part in conflict transformation workshops within their own societies. Through building relationships, facilitating workshops and supporting research, we are also able to investigate previously under-explored areas that hold potential for peacebuilding such as cross-LoC trade and education.
The senior-most Cabinet Minister in Jammu and Kashmir government, Abdul Rahim Rather, has lauded the efforts of Conciliation Resources in bringing out a publication on Cross-Line of Control Trade, which is a key confidence building measure in the state… [He] found the collection of highly researched discussion papers useful and said that publication would help the policymakers in understanding various view points from both sides of the Line of Control.
State Observer, March 2011