The United States Military Academy (USMA) Modern War Institute, a US military think-tank in its latest research has presented a case study focusing on the need for adopting a Kashmir peace deal.
The 21 page long report compiled by Yelena Biberman, the author of Gambling with Violence: State Outsourcing of War in Pakistan and India laid emphasis on why the newly formed Biden Government needs to make Kashmir peace talks one of its foreign policy goals in next 4 years.
“Any time is a good time to treat a festering wound,” a Kashmiri activist and doctor memorably responded to my question about when to tackle the Kashmir crisis.” Biberman wrote in the report.
“Kashmir is a ‘festering wound’ from the standpoint of democratic freedoms and human rights,” the report further read.
Stressing on how to approach India for Kashmir peace talks, the report has suggested that US needs not to play the role of an official mediator, as such requests made by the former President Donald Trump were categorically rejected by India citing Kashmir as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.
The report however suggested that US officials can play a constructive role in convincing their Indian counterparts to consider Kashmir peace talks as a viable strategy.
“India’s reputation has suffered in the past year. New Delhi’s cancellation of Kashmir’s special status in August 2019 and subsequent crackdown on an already highly militarized region sent shockwaves around the world. Despite being cut off from each other and the world, Kashmiris suddenly gained global attention and sympathy. As a Democratic contender, Biden asked the Indian government to ‘take all necessary steps to restore rights for all the people of Kashmir.’ President Trump offered to mediate the crisis. The New York Times Editorial Board implored the United Nations Security Council to ‘make clear that it opposes Mr. Modi’s brutal tightening of India’s control on Kashmir’,” it further read.
With a new US administration in the White House and China’s recent moves, now is the time for the United States to showcase its principles, priorities, and power in the Indo-Pacific,” Biberman said in her report.
Biberman also suggested that stabilizing Afghanistan but not resolving the Kashmir crisis could once again trigger Afghan and international militant relocation to Kashmir, worsening the conflict there and potentially spilling over into other parts of the region, including back to Afghanistan.
Ahead of the peacetalks, the report also suggested New Delhi to adopt some confidence building measures that included restoring 4G internet services across the state, securing land and jobs for the locals, youth outreach initiatives, releasing those still detained under charges of stone pelting, and developing a surrender policy towards the militants.
“New Delhi would make progress with the political parties by softening its tone toward the mainstream Kashmiri politicians, releasing all political prisoners, disavowing patronage politics, and committing to a draft on future policy on Kashmir, which has been absent for the last several years,” the report read.
“A Kashmir peace deal is an opportunity for the United States to make clear its position on democracy and human rights. It would send a message to India and the rest of the world confronting the rise of authoritarianism about the distinctiveness and value of America’s global leadership,” Biberman wrote.