ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Luv Puri

Across the LOC: A Political Conundrum

The spotlight has turned on the state and people-led violence in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. Across the Line of Control there are other issues. An analysis of the political and institutional conditions in Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir shows that Pakistan's federal government keeps the region under strict control and people lack political freedoms. The governments of both India and Pakistan need to strengthen democracy in the regions under their control since it is only through fulfilment of the democratic aspirations of the people that a viable solution will emerge.

Kashmir: Local Self-Governance As the Key to a Solution

The massive public protests in Kashmir in recent weeks are a fallout of a deep-seated frustration of the people with the political system. The lack of local self-governance and autonomous, statutory institutions leads to a concentration of powers sans accountability at the top. This makes it difficult to address the different and varied demands of the people of a diverse state like Jammu and Kashmir. Political reforms are thus central to any solution to the cycle of violence.

Pakistan's Northern Areas: Time for a Reality Check

Pakistan's move to grant provincial status to its Northern Areas, formally a part of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir, should be seen as part of the process that aims to revisit the Kashmir dispute on the basis of pragmatism. Even though the move has been criticised by India and Kashmiri independence groups, Pakistan's political package to the Northern Areas may be a step in the right direction.

Pakistan administered Kashmir: Complex Socio-Political Set-up

New socio-political forces emerging at the micro level in Pakistan administered Kashmir are changing the status quo, with the ruling political elite now facing the stiffest of challenges. Rajput-soodhan caste groups, which have wielded considerable influence in the political set-up of PAK, are facing challenges from the gujjar-jat castes living in the south. The desire to open up the line of control is also intense in PAK and shows that the wounds of history have started healing. The leadership of both India and Pakistan need to further cement the bonds of language and culture between the two parts of the state.