This paper is the first in a series from the Kashmir Initiative Group (KIG), providing a background to the Kashmir context. The paper reflects on the current landscape in the region, identifies internal and external challenges and opportunities, and offers some suggested points of action in response to these. KIG will produce four policy briefs over the next year based on four issues identified in this paper:
Since the launch of Cross-Line of Control (LoC) Trade in 2008 significant bodes of research and literature have come from Indian, Pakistani and Western sources but every study has addressed one question or the other but not both together in their entirety.
This particular research work is significant in its many aspects: it explores both peacebuilding and the hard economics of cross-LoC trade.
At a time when young people worldwide are recognised for taking the lead in changing their societies, this participatory research is aimed at finding the perception and level of awareness of Kashmiri youth about their rights and duties. It also examines the social and political change they want to see, and what they need to effect this change in Kashmir.
The long-standing and intractable issue of Kashmir between Pakistan and India is of great importance for the young people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). The costs of this deep-rooted conflict have become increasingly difficult for Pakistan and India, and for the people of the erstwhile state of Kashmir in particular.
This opinion poll, the first ever of its kind, constitutes a part of the larger study report on Cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade and is presented at this stage as an interim report, inviting wider public and policy debate on the issue.
IRF and CPDR - organisations based on either side of the divide - have engaged with prominent economists from the region to undertake comprehensive research with stakeholder inputs. Through this they intend to suggest a workable roadmap for realising the full economic and peacebuilding potential of the Cross-LoC trade.
'Interaction on education could serve as a catalyst for stabilisation in Kashmir'. This study, by Ambassador (Rtd) Arif Kamal and Dr Siddiq Wahid, explores the scope for such cooperation across the Line of Control.
Kashmiri women know that their role in peacebuilding is important. However, as this report by Ayesha Saeed for Conciliation Resources reveals, their perspectives on peace and conflict vary in different regions.