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Crafting Peace in Kashmir

Crafting Peace in Kashmir
Through A Realist Lens

First Edition

Other Titles in:
Development Studies

July 2004 | 316 pages | SAGE India
The chronic conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir has generated a great deal of scholarly and popular literature. The dominant and prevailing view is that the conflict is essentially beyond solution. This book examines a contrary hypothesis that such a view, though widely held, is unjustified. In this regard the author presents a realist study of the possibilities of bringing peace to Kashmir and compares it with three relevant, protracted and violent conflicts elsewhere in the world.

Verghese Koithara argues cogently that the main difficulty with regard to resolving the conflict in Kashmir lies not in the stakes involved, but in the patterns of attitude and behaviour that have developed over the years. The `structure` of the conflict is actually more capable of being resolved today than is generally believed, maintains the author. Through an analysis of the conflicts in Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka and Palestine, he provides a useful perspective on conflict dynamics and how conflict resolution can be more realistically sought through a `peace strategy` rather than a `war strategy`. More specifically, the author:
- Looks at the history and the current context of the India-Pakistan conflict through a lens of political realism.
- Draws relevant parallels between the India-Pakistan conflict and the conflicts in Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka and Palestine with regard to both the evolution of the conflicts and peace efforts.
- Presents reasons why a durable peace—based on the Line of Control becoming the settled border and the two parts of Jammu & Kashmir being given parallel and substantial autonomy—can be achieved in today`s conditions.
The India-Pakistan Conflict
Kashmir's Discontented
Conflict Drivers
Nuclear Danger
Kashmir and the Outside World
Insights from Northern Ireland
Pointers from Sri Lanka
Reflections on Israel-Palestine
Moving from Conflict to Peace
Creating a Peace Path in Kashmir
Select Bibliography

This edited volume examines the India-Pakistan conflict in depth, and comparative analyses with conflicts as observed in Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka as well as the Israel-Palestinian hostilities have been presented to provide an analytical backdrop through a realist’s lens.


At last a book from India which objectively, comprehensively and compassionately looks at the prospects for peace in the trouble torn province of Jammu & Kashmir…. Koithara is an erudite scholar and a diligent researcher…. His service background and experience provides the degree of authority and credibility often necessary in such an analysis…. The approach is balanced and almost neutral, not often seen in Indian books…. Where the book really scores is in examining other conflicts from around the world and drawing lessons for J&K.

Peace and Conflict

Koithara shows us how peace can be crafted in Kashmir.... It`s no surprise that his book is lucid, candid and comprehensive.... Koithara`s objectivity would put many a journalist to shame. As interesting as his diagnosis is the way Koithara has tackled the subject. He starts from the conflict between India and Pakistan, and the Kashmiri discontent. Then, he steadily enlarges his scope to examining conflict drivers between the two neighbours, the entry of nuclear weapons into the equation, and then the relations of the three principals with the rest of the world. Each chapter is economically and concisely written, and suddenly you have a clear picture of the multi-dimensional strategic context India and Pakistan find themselves in.

The Hindustan Times

Admiral Koithara has again given us a path-breaking book—in this case a carefully researched, and thoughtfully argued framework with which to view the current peace-process on Kashmir. There may be many roads to a Kashmir settlement, but the one advocated by Koithara is both reasonable and feasible. One hopes that the parties—Indians, Pakistanis and Kashmiris—read it carefully. Both those who believe that no agreement is possible, and those who favor their own solution over all others will profit from this wise and balanced overview.

Stephen P Cohen

Verghese Koithara

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ISBN: 9780761932628