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Kashmir: Modern People Dispute Ancient Lands: Documents B

Document Analysis

Directions:  Document 1, below,  is an analysis produced in 2002 by the Carter Center, which brings together experts to discuss solutions for world peace.  Use the document to consider the following question:  

1. What role do India and Pakistan play in disrupting or creating peace in the Kashmir Valley? Provide examples to support your answer.

Further Directions:  Document 2 is a recent interview in which an observer explains how the situation in the Kashmir Valley has changed.  Consider both Document 1 and Document 2 in answering the following questions:

2. How has social media impacted the role that the people who live in the Kashmir Valley play in this dispute?

3. How are government claims that this is primarily a "religious" dispute being answered by the activists?

DOCUMENT 1: The Kashmiri Conflict: Historical and Prospective Intervention Analysis, 2002, Carter Center

Kashmir has been referred to as the most dangerous place on Earth. The prospect of two nuclear powers facing off across such a comparatively small space is frightening indeed. Since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, this unresolved land and the people who live there have been at the root of constant tension between the world’s most populous democracy, India, and its neighbor Pakistan...The instability and lack of any conclusive resolution to the political dispute have left the population of Kashmir divided and uncertain about their future. A land of immense beauty, Kashmir has seen its once burgeoning tourist industry fade completely in the face of military incursions and terrorist activity.~ Jimmy Carter

The analysis completed by the Carter Center made the following recommendations:

  • "reducing and removing troops from uncontested areas and implementing technical safeguards to monitor infiltration."  In other words, India should not keep military forces in the area of the Kashmir Valley administered by the Pakistan.  Likewise, Pakistan should not keep military forces in the areas administered by India.  This should be monitored by other countries or the United Nations.
  • address of "issues relating to Kashmir governance, identity, and humanitarian dilemmas ... to control the outbreak of insurgencyThis suggests that the two countries must work to resolve disputes about contested areas with respect for the needs of people of the Kashmir Valley and the hardships they face.
  • promotion of "trade between India and Pakistan ... to create and support a mutual dependence" This encourages the two countries to become trade partners and therefore dependent on one another.
  • an "exchange of ideas through the media ... to transform perceptions among Indians, Pakistanis, and Kashmiris"  This advocates for freedom of the press in both countries.
  • a peace agreement to strengthen the "security, economic, environmental, and humanitarian conditions in Kashmir"  This asserts that a formal peace agreement is needed to insure the prosperity of the Kashmir Valley, as a whole. 
  • The analysis also calls for India to acknowledge that some of the lands it administers are disputed by Pakistan.  It also calls for Pakistan to acknowledge the terrorist acts of militants affiliated with Pakistan.
  • The analysis also calls for Indian support of Jammu and Kashmir state governmental program.

DOCUMENT 2: Interview: What's Different about this Conflict

McCarthy, Julie. "Kashmir Is Inundated By Violence But This Cycle Is Unique." Morning Edition, 12 Sept. 2016. Gale In Context: Global Issues. Accessed 19 Nov. 2019.

GREENE: So why does this violence have a different feel to it?

MCCARTHY: First of all, there's this unprecedented kind of force being used. There's these high-velocity pellet shotguns for crowd control. And it's left thousands of people riddled with pellet injuries. And a lot of them have damaged eyesight. And some demonstrators have thrown stones, attacked police stations and government buildings. And, unusually, this started in rural areas. And it has spread throughout the Kashmir Valley. And it's lasted over 60 days. That's also unusual.

And it's overwhelmingly young. The youth are mobilized by social media. Many followed a militant who's popular for his homegrown radicalism. So he found mass appeal among young Kashmiris. And when Indian security forces killed him in July, it galvanized the youth. At least 78 people and two police have been killed since early July. And doctors at the largest hospital here in Srinagar report that most of the injured are 18 to their early 20s. No one over 40, they say.

This is all about self-determination. The Kashmiris say, we need to be asked what we want to do. Do we want an independent state? Do we want to be attached to Pakistan? Do we want to remain with India? Put it to a vote, and we'll find out. And so that's really what this is about. This is about self-determination at its - at its core - these demonstrations. These young people see the Indian Army as an occupying force that needs to quit Kashmir.

The Central Reserve Police Force will say these are disillusioned youth whose energies are being channeled by unelected separatist leaders who are partial to Pakistan. And they're susceptible to religious zealotry, according to them. Kashmir is predominantly Muslim. But the civil society says, hold on. This isn't about religion. It's political. They say the anger is directed at the military occupation and that young people don't need to be led by any kind of separatist outfit.

People who identify themselves as sympathetic with this cause say, put it to a vote - a plebiscite overseen by the United Nations. The Kashmiris are saying the time has come for that. In fact, the time is overdue.


Central Reserve Police Force 

humanitarian: promoting basic human rights


plebiscite: the direct vote of a constituency on questions of importance to the public

radicalism: the beliefs or actions of a people who advocate complete change

zealotry: fanatical or uncompromising pursuit of religious, political or other ideals.


separatist: a person who supports the separation of one group from another.

Srinagar: the larges city in J&K.

uncontested: something over which no one disagrees

United Nations: an international organization of member states that promote political and economic cooperation. Established in 1945.


Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

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