Seizing the Moment in Kashmir
Abstract

A devastating earthquake on Oct. 8, 2005 drew the world's attention to the disputed South Asian border region of Jammu and Kashmir. Despite the tragedy, there was some cause for hope. Perhaps it would shift priorities and actually help to bring peace to Jammu and Kashmir, a land subjected to decades of contention and host to more than 16 years of insurgency? Unfortunately, promise has a way of fading quickly, and bitterly, in the Kashmir conflict. Misrule, miscalculation, and fear have conspired repeatedly to restore the "war status quo." Unless these factors—the sources of the conflict's intractability—are addressed, it is difficult to be optimistic. To help bring about a positive dynamic in which these issues can be addressed, parties to the conflict and international actors should continue toward realizing a "soft border" and improving the economic situation on both sides of the Line of Control.