Seventy years after the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan, the unresolved territorial dispute over the Kashmir region remains a major tension between the two nuclear-armed nations. The neighboring countries both claim Kashmir in full but control the territory only in part, and after fighting multiple wars over the territory, diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute have ended in stalemates.
On September 11, the India Initiative, in partnership with Conciliation Resources, an NGO based in the United Kingdom, convened a working group of policy experts and diplomats from India, Pakistan, the United States, and from both sides of the line of control in Kashmir to discuss the current diplomatic impasse and identify possible paths forward, with the goal of developing an inclusive suggested framework that may gain policy traction.
The closed-door discussion highlighted the varied perspectives on the issue and convened participants with diverse views, backgrounds, and areas of expertise. Ambassador Richard Verma, former U.S. ambassador to India, led the discussion alongside Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, a Pakistani senator and chairman of the Senate Defence Committee; Ambassador Nirupama Rao, former foreign secretary of India; and Shujaat Bhukhari, a journalist for Rising Kashmir and a member of the Kashmir Initiative Group.
This event was co-sponsored by the Georgetown University India Initiative and Conciliation Resources.
Shuujat Bhukhari is the editor of Rising Kashmir, a Kashmir-based media network. He is also a member of the Kashmir Initiative Group, an organization of civil society actors from across the Jammu and Kashmir region that aims to promote regional peacebuilding.
Ambassador Nirupama Rao served as India's foreign secretary from 2009 to 2011, and was formerly India's ambassador to the United States, Sri Lanka, and China.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed is a member of the Senate of Pakistan and the chairman of the Senate Defense Committee.
Ambassador Richard Verma is the former U.S. ambassador to India and a Centennial Fellow in Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.