Think-tank proposes Kashmir settlement guidelines
WASHINGTON: “Guidelines” for a Kashmir settlement devised by the Stimson Centre, a local think tank with an interest in Kashmir, call for a peaceful settlement that takes into account the “wishes of all concerned.”
Drafted by Michael Krepon, founder president of Stimson, and Ashley Tellis, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the guidelines were initially proposed two years ago, but were not published. They are now to be posted on a special website Stimson has devised for suggestions aimed at a Kashmir settlement.
The guidelines seek a Kashmir settlement through peaceful means alone that take into account the wishes of all concerned. All parties are to stop resorting to force, violence and coercion.
There should be no threats by force or violence to the governing institutions and political processes currently existing on both sides of the Kashmir divide, pending the resolution of their status through a final settlement involving all parties.
The guidelines also call for respect for the lives, liberty, human rights and dignity of the people living on both sides of the Kashmir divide.
They urge the easing of burdens on those who have suffered, and they want an end to the targeting of non-combatants.
The two authors advocate that without waiting for a final settlement of the Kashmir issue in "all of its dimensions," there should be cessation of firing across the Kashmir divide, cessation of crossings by those bearing arms and other military equipment, launch of humanitarian initiatives, such as reuniting divided families and the reopening of designated routes for people-to-people contact across the Kashmir divide, resumption of trade across the Kashmir divide, economic assistance and development projects, cessation of custodial killings, release of prisoners who have been detained for non-capital crimes without charges and creation of conditions for the return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homes.