Rapprochement, Dialogue, and a Peaceful Resolution of Jammu and Kashmir

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During the last two decades, each military crisis between India and Pakistan has been followed by attempts at diplomatic rapprochement, which have turned out to be fiascos. The two countries go through sporadic peacemaking efforts, characterized by negotiations. For instance, in January 2004, the then Indian prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and the then Pakistani president, General Pervez Musharraf, agreed “to the resumption of a composite dialogue” on all issues “including Jammu and Kashmir, to the satisfaction of both sides.” Musharraf assured the Indian government that he would not permit “any territory under Pakistan’s control to be used to support terrorism in any manner” (The Hindu, 6 January 2004). But this joint statement could not mitigate the existing skepticism.

Despite international pressure, the India–Pakistan crisis has not been defused; on the contrary, it is highly volatile. Given their interests in South Asia, Russia, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union have expressed concern about the brinksmanship between the two countries. In order to facilitate a rapprochement, President Vladimir Putin of Russia offered to play the role of mediator between then Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee and then Pakistani President Musharraf at the scheduled regional summit conference in Almaty, Kazakhistan in 2002. Both Putin and the then Chinese president, Jiang Zemin, held talks with…

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