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INSIDE STORY
The dispute over Kashmir
Can India and Pakistan make the right moves to finally resolve their contest over the region?
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2009 12:41 GMT

Kashmir, the small region nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, has been contested territory for over 60 years.

The region has recently been talked about across the globe - however, in very different terms.

For one, the Pakistani and Indian prime ministers met in Egypt last week, where they agreed to co-operate to fight terrorism, a development which has been seen as highly significant following last year's attacks in Mumbai.

Then there is Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani president, who was in London this week, where he said that the Kashmir issue was critical to forming a lasting peace.

Europe is also hosting a 'Kashmir Week', attended by the Pakistani minister for Kashmir Affairs. MEPs involved say they want to raise awareness of the issue.

The US is also playing in a role in tackling the contentious issues surrounding Kashmir. In Washington, DC, a peace conference is being held with the president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir in attendance.

Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, has also recently been visiting Pakistan where he said that his country should stay out of Kashmir negotiations and, in this case, not act as an envoy.

So, what is the US approach for resolving the issue after signing a defence pact with India? Can the US claim to be neutral or has it already tipped the balance in favour of one side?

Our guests on the show are: K.C Singh, India foreign policy expert; James Elles, head of the All Party Kashmir Group of the European Parliament; Ved Bhasin, editor-in-chief of Kashmir Times; and Ejaz Haider, executive editor of the Daily Times in Pakistan.

This episode of Inside Story aired on Thursday, July 23, 20009.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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