Pakistan Ups the Ante on Kashmir in Response to Modi’s Red Lines

Pakistan Ups the Ante on Kashmir in Response to Modi’s Red Lines
Indian paramilitary soldiers in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Nov. 6, 2015 (AP photo by Mukhtar Khan).

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kashmir earlier this month brought steel barricades, razor wire, a curfew and other tight security measures to the contested territory on India and Pakistan’s border as Pakistan-backed separatists took to the streets in protest. It was just the latest sign of how Kashmir has re-emerged as the most critical issue in India-Pakistan relations.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Washington last month offered further proof. With an agenda otherwise dominated by U.S. security concerns vis-a-vis Afghanistan, Sharif ensured that the long-running Kashmir conflict remained a priority. In a meeting with senior U.S. senators, Sharif said the dispute needed third-party intervention and solicited America’s help as a mediator. Then in a speech at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Sharif insisted that resolving Kashmir was key to regional stability. This push came on the heels of Pakistan putting Kashmir center stage at the U.N. General Assembly, a move that had aroused a strong Indian reaction.

Pakistan’s renewed campaign to internationalize the conflict is a significant departure from its decade-long Kashmir policy of deliberately downplaying the issue at the United Nations in favor of bilateral dialogue with India, which is New Delhi’s preferred approach, while also putting Kashmir on the back burner in favor of dialogue on other outstanding matters. As far back as January, however, reports emerged that Pakistan would raise the international temperature on Kashmir and return to its traditional demand of a U.N.-sponsored plebiscite deciding which country Kashmir would accede to.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article as well as three free articles per month. You'll also receive our free email newsletter to stay up to date on all our coverage:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review