Proposed solutions

Jawaharlal Nehru: 1952
"We have fought the good fight about Kashmir on the field of battle... (and) many a chancellery of the world and in the United Nations, but, above all, we have fought this fight in the hearts and minds of men and women of that State of Jammu and Kashmir. Because, ultimately - I say this with all deference to this Parliament - the decision will be made in the hearts and minds of the men and women of Kashmir;neither in this Parliament, nor in the United Nations nor by anybody else," Jawaharlal Nehru in the Lok Sabha on August 7, 1952.

- Selected works of Jawaharlal Nehru, vol. 19 pp. 295-6.

While many observers agree that the need of the hour is cessation of hostilities from militants and Indian forces, accompanied by withdrawal of bulk of the half a million Indian soldiers from the Valley( which is seen as oppressive by the locals) and unconditional dialogues between all parties involved - India, Pakistan, Kashmiris- Muslims, Pandits and other minorities, it is not clear what could be a solution acceptable to all parties.

There have been some interesting and innovative solutions proposed by various groups- which take into account the ego and territorial concerns of various parties involved.

Andorran Solution:
  • This was proposed by Alastair Lamb in 1998- considered as the most eminent historian on Kashmir.
  • Well established precedent of Andorra : on the border between France and Spain; Internally autonomous; externally under a measure of French and Spanish influence and protection.
  • Both Azad Kashmir and the Kashmir Valley could be declared as autonmous regions with its internal self-government but with its external defence and foreign affairs controlled jointly by India and Pakistan - India in the case of Valley and Pak in the case of Azad Kashmir.
  • Major advantage of this Andorran solution: No territory under Indian control would be transferred to Pakistan and no territory under Pakistani control would be transferred to India. Existing LoC will become the border. India retains Jammu and Ladakh, Pakistan retains Northern Territories.

  • Variants of an Andorran solution in slightly different forms have been proposed. One of them is discussed below.

    Solution by Kashmir Study Group (KSG) :

  • A portion of former Princely State of J&K(mainly Valley and Azad Kashmir) be reconstituted as a sovereign entity (but one without an international personality) enjoying free access to and from both India and Pakistan
  • The new entity would have its own secular, democratic constitution, as well as its own citizenship, flag, and a legislature, which would legislate on all matters other than defense and foreign affairs.
  • All displaced persons, including Kashmiri Pandits, who left any portion of the Kashmir entity, shall have the right to return to their homesteads.
  • The borders of Kashmir with India and Pakistan would remain open for the free transit of people, goods, and services in accordance with arrangements to be worked out between India, Pakistan, and the Kashmiri entity.

  • Other solutions

    Various alternative scenarios for the future of Kashmir have been envisaged by other observers. There is also a growing body of opinion from expert analysts like Professor and Peace Activist Pervez Hoodbhoy from Pakistan, which argues along the following lines: While independence for Kashmir Valley is not a practical solution, even internal autonomy along the lines of Andorran solution may not be forthcoming. That Kashmiris may have to reconcile to the prospect of living under Indian rule, with a negotiated solution of cessation of hostilities accompanied by withdrawal of Indian troops from the Valley and with free movement of Kashmiris across the border with Azad Kashmir.