Learning From Models Of Conflict Resolution and Peace Processes


On March 16-17, 2007 the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad and the Kashmir Institute of International Relations convened a gathering of concerned individuals in the International Kashmir Conference with the theme “Jammu & Kashmir Dispute: Models for Resolution”. We represented concerned individuals from both sides of the Line of Control in Kashmir, India, Pakistan and the international community.

We met in three separate working groups which included:

1.    Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir

2.    Step-by-Step Approach to Self-determination: Identification of the Area of Demilitarization; Self Governance; Joint Management

3.    Learning from Models of Conflict Resolution and Peace Processes.

This report contains the recommendations of the working group on “Learning from Models of Conflict Resolution and Peace Processes”. The recommendations include guiding principles, process, settlement frameworks and confidence building measures.


Guiding Principles

The participants in the working group offer the following principles that must guide any conflict resolution process in Kashmir:

•    The people of Kashmir must be included in the central discussion which will determine their future. Their fundamental right to full participation in any negotiation must be recognized.

•    In order to establish the appropriate environment in which human rights can be improved there should be a cessation of all forms of violence, beginning with the return to the barracks of the Indian army and paramilitary forces from populated areas.

•    The geographic, ethnic, religious and political diversity of Kashmir must be taken into consideration.

•    An inter and intra dialogue needs to be promoted between regions, religions, political and ethnic groups.

•    It is essential to develop national consensus among Kashmiri people.

•    The internal and external displacement of people since 1947 must be addressed.

•    It is essential to build an atmosphere of trust though confidence building measures. There must be “Kashmir specific” confidence building measures.

•    It is essential that the members of civil society from both sides of the Line of Control have unhindered opportunities to interact with each other.

•    There needs to be a process of healing and reconciliation among the Kashmiri people as a prelude to a final settlement of the Kashmir dispute. This process of reconciliation may give birth to possibilities for settlement that do not currently exist.

•    The efforts of track I, track II and civil society need to be more closely coordinated with each other so as to strengthen each of them.

•    As part of the healing process U.N. rapporteurs on human rights and international NGO’s must be allowed unhindered access to all parts of Kashmir so as to establish the truth about human rights abuses by all parties.

•    The Kashmir conflict is not only a local issue, but also an international issue with diverse dimensions. It involves two nuclear powers with the danger of Kashmir becoming a nuclear flashpoint.

•    The conflict resolution process must tangibly address the basic needs of the Kashmiri people for identity, dignity, recognition, security and development otherwise it will not be sustainable or lasting.

•    India and Pakistan should invite a credible figure or institution from the international community acceptable to the Kashmiris to serve as a facilitator so as to bring hope to Kashmiris and to symbolize the concern of the international community for resolution of the Kashmir issue.

•    As in Northern Ireland there is a need for sustained and structured dialogue that involves militants in the process.

•    The process is as important as the outcome. The Kashmiri people must take initiative themselves, so as to influence the outcome of the process.

•    There needs to the equitable inclusion of women at all levels of the peace process.

•    The UN principles still remain as the only legal basis for resolution of the Kashmir conflict. Any conflict resolution process should respect the principle of Kashmiri self-determination.



With regard to conflict resolution processes we considered different models such as:

1.    Aland Island Model

2.    Trieste Model

3.    Andorra Model

4.    Northern Ireland Model

5.    Faith-Based Reconciliation Model

6.    South Tyrol Model

7.    Sudan Model

8.    Somaliland Model

9.    Nepalese Model

10.    Conflict Transformation Model

After considering the various models and their application to the Kashmir dispute it is recommended that three models form the basis for the conflict resolution process:

1.    Northern Ireland Model

2.    Faith-Based Reconciliation Model

3.    Conflict Transformation Model

We recognize that the other models also offered some features that could he examined in the context of the Kashmir dispute.

The Northern Ireland model offers the following aspects that should be considered in the process:

•    Recognition of the legitimacy of whatever choice is freely exercised by the people.

•    Commitment to a process of eventual disarmament of all paramilitary organizations

•    Provides a context of the right of self-determination as opposed to territorial control.

•    There must he sustained and structured dialogue. Hence, a multi-track dialogue process in addition to the ongoing India/Pakistan dialogue is needed at three main levels: intra-Kashmiri dialogue with participants from both sides of the LoC and involving militant groups; Pakistani/Kashmiri dialogue; India /Kashmiri dialogue

•    The militants need to be involved in the process as soon as possible.

•    There should be trilateral dialogue as opposed to bilateral dialogue

•    The role of the Diaspora is critical

•    Civil society groups should take the lead to foster peace movements.

•    The role of an outside/internal facilitator is critical and essential to the process.


The Faith-Based Reconciliation model offers the following aspects that should he considered in the process:

•    The need to restore the historic moral vision in Kashmir based on reconciliation as a foundation for a future Kashmir and as a basis for restoring Kashmiryat and harmonious relationships throughout the region.

•    The need to build bridges among the different identity-based groups in the region so as to create understanding, and overcome stereotypes.

•    The need to demolish walls of hostility that currently exist between members of identity-based groups and toward India or Pakistan.

•    The need to address issues of human rights and the sharing of power and privilege as a basis for establishing the common good and a just basis for Kashmiri society and its relationship with India and Pakistan.

•    The need to heal the torn fabric of society by fostering both individual and political forgiveness.

•    To address the wounds of Kashmiri history in such a manner that leads to acknowledgement of wrongdoing by offenders and extending forgiveness by victims.

•    To draw from the peacemaking tenets of the groups’ religious traditions as a motivation for peacemaking.

•    To encourage leaders to consider spiritual and moral values in governance and policy making.

•    Encouraging the development of a problem solving approach by reframing the conflict as a joint problem to be solved by all parties.


The Conflict Transformation Model offers the following aspects that should be considered in the process:

•    A commitment by all parties to a peaceful resolution of the conflict

•    Utilizing an elicitive, rights-based approach that draws from the Kashmiris their solutions to the Kashmir dispute.

•    Establishing on the senior, middle and grassroots levels the mechanisms for addressing ongoing conflict in a peaceful manner.


The conflict resolution process should take into account some key points to move the process forward at this time (i.e. next steps):

•    Engaging the militants in the process.

•    Return of displaced persons.

•    Creating a porous cease fire line (LoC)

•    Creating a unified Kashmiri voice

•    Creating a just negotiation process.

•    Healing the torn fabric of society

•    Mobilizing the Kashmiri Diaspora to create economic opportunity in the region. 


Settlement Frameworks

With regard to settlement frameworks we considered both interim and permanent models.

We recommend an interim solution to the Kashmir dispute at this time to be known as the Reconciliation Model. It is based on the following points:

•    As a first step all parties to the Kashmir conflict should recognize Kashmir as disputed territory.

•    The paradigm for resolution between India and Pakistan should refocus from conflict resolution to reconciliation as a first step.

•    Kashmiris need to be given political space that enables a process of healing and reconciliation to take place.

•    Kashmiris should focus on being able to propose their own solution.

•    A time frame of 4-5 years should be fixed for final settlement.

•    Track I and Track II efforts should work in close cooperation.


Confidence Building Measures

With regard to confidence building measures we recommend the following, to be implemented at the earliest possible time:

•    Demilitarization of the region.

•    Pulling back Indian forces to their barracks so as to restore normalcy.

•    Ending all cross border LoC activity of militants.

•    Ending violence and human rights violations by all parties.

•    Free movement of peoples across the LoC.

•    Prepare a roll of Kashmiris by the UN.

•    Allow return of displaced persons (since 1947)

•    Repeal of black laws and release of all political prisoners from Jammu & Kashmir.

•    Demining and removal of fencing on both sides of the CFL/LoC.

•    Encourage cross LoC economic activity.

•    Encouraging an internal cease-fire between Indian Security Forces and militants.

•    Cultural and educational exchanges across the LoC.

•    Encourage joint problem solving of health, educational, economic, cultural, tourism, environmental issues.

•    Economic experts from the international community to visit both sides to access the economic potential. Both sides begin cooperating on disaster management.

•    Encourage cross LoC media cooperation and freedom of the press.