Resolution on Kashmir

CASABLANCA COUNCIL - Peace, Security, Development, 31 May-1 June 2002

The Socialist International expresses its deepest concern regarding the situation in Kashmir, especially given the alarming prospect of war between India and Pakistan and the horrible possibility of the use of nuclear weapons by one or both sides.

The International is also disturbed by and condemns the series of violent attacks that have left dozens of people dead, including at an Indian army camp earlier this month and, only days ago, against an Indian police base in Kashmir. Those carrying out these violent acts appear to have as their principle goal the worsening of the already dangerous level of tension between India and Pakistan.

We also believe that the recent test firing of missiles by Pakistan is ill-timed and provocative in light of recent events and increases the potential for nuclear escalation that would put millions of lives at risk.

The roots of the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir reach far back into the past and relations between the two countries are both intricate as well as volatile. To help the two countries step back from the brink of war therefore requires a tremendous effort by the international community, including balanced and determined diplomacy by individual nations to reduce tensions and promote dialogue.

We therefore view as positive the recent and ongoing initiatives by Great Britain, the United States and Russia.

However, we also believe that a more concerted international effort is needed to impress upon the two countries the clear necessity and absolute urgency of preventing greater hostilities that could lead to nuclear conflagration.

At the same time, the International must emphasise the primary responsibility of both India and Pakistan themselves to do everything possible to lower the level of tension, beginning with greater efforts to find the common ground necessary to get a peace process for Kashmir on track. In this regard, we also recognise and value the efforts of civil society organisations working for democracy and peace in Kashmir.

Finally, the International advocates that in the future, as soon as is feasible, both countries, with the support and assistance of other nuclear powers, develop and put into place all necessary and available safeguards such as direct hotline communications and test monitoring programs and agreements to reduce as much as possible the potential of nuclear catastrophe.