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News from Swiss NGOs
No headway was made over Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in the past two months amidst continuing violence in the Himalayan territory. Although officially still on track, the peace talks between India and Pakistan have lost some momentum. This might be partially due to internal problems in Pakistan but is also likely to stem from a reluctance of New Delhi to take a more flexible stance on the resolution of the Kashmir issue and continued distrust towards Pakistan.
Current politics in Pakistan are dominated by power struggles and the realignments of all major political forces in view of the up-coming presidential and general elections.
On 20 July, the Supreme Court re-instated Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, ruling that his suspension by the president in March was illegal. The suspension of the CJ had triggered unexpected country-wide protests by lawyers and opposition parties and led to a revival of democratic forces.
The situation in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) has not changed significantly. India and Pakistan reiterated their resolve to deal with outstanding issues between them, including Kashmir but the pace of the peace talks remains slow and no major breakthroughs were reported.
The peace talks between India and Pakistan are overshadowed and further slowed down by the current political instability in Pakistan. President Musharraf faces a dilemma.
The situation in Pakistan has further deteriorated. General President Musharraf is facing increasing internal pressure on the one side, from opposition parties and lawyers over the suspension of the Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar M.
Over the past two months, India and Pakistan continued official and semi-official peace talks at different levels, including talks at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in New Delhi on 3-4 April between their prime ministers. Although these talks might increase confidence amongst the two countries, their outcome has so far been modest as India remains reluctant to shift from traditional positions.
The situation in Pakistan has deteriorated in the past two months. On 9 March, President Musharraf called the Chief Justice (CJ), Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, to the military headquarters and suspended him over allegations of misconduct and misuse of authority - e.g. the appointment of his son to the senior police service. The case was submitted to the highest judicial body, the Supreme Judicial Council (SCJ), but on 7 May the Supreme Court, acting on 23 petitions filed, suspended the SCJ's proceedings against Chaudry.
Generally, the situation in Indian-administered Kashmir can be described as slightly improving.
Violence in Indian Held Kashmir rose steadily during the months of July and August. After a relaxation in September and October it increased again during November.
Kashmir's Country Stability kept rising until January and started declining from February onwards, whereas the Forceful Events indicator was developing exactly opposite.
The Relative Forceful Actions curve for Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) shows a marked rise starting from the month of March, while during the same period, the Country Stability index declines accordingly.
These changes of the graphs in first instance can be related to the upcoming end of a quite harsh winter and, linked to this, the resuming of intensified activities by Kashmiri militants as well as the Indian army.
The number of killed and injured doubled as to those of February though they stayed below those of the same month of last year.
KOFF Peacebuilding Reports
Barnett R. Rubin, Ashraf Ghani, William Maley, Ahmed Rashid, Olivier Roy
Kompetenzzentrum Friedensforderung (KOFF)
Schweizerische Friedensstiftung (SFS)
Centre pour la promotion de la paix (KOFF)
Fondation suisse pour la paix (FSP)
Centro per la promozione defa pace (KOFF)
Fondazione svizzera per la pace (FSP)
Center for Peacebuilding (KOFF)
Swiss Peace Foundation (SPF)