In December 1998 some members of the Kashmir Study Group in consultation with several Indians and Pakistanis developed the Livingston Proposal, "Kashmir: A Way Forward." This proposal recommended that a portion of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir be reconstituted as a sovereign entity (but without an international personality). The proposal was given to governmental officials in India and Pakistan and to diverse leadership in Kashmir, as well as to many opinion makers in India, Pakistan and Kashmir.
The reaction from many persons in South Asia, while guarded, was generally positive, and suggestions were made to develop the idea further. Many suggestions were received on what areas could constitute a Kashmiri entity. Based on these suggestions, a more extended set of proposals was put forward in September 1999. The present draft makes minor changes to the 1999 draft, which we hope, will be viewed as a another step forward in a work in progress. No single definitive recommendation is being put forward at this time.
To facilitate the comprehension of the logic of the suggestions put forward in this document, this presentation provides a historical perspective of the Kashmiri region and the origins of the present state of Jammu and Kashmir together with information on the physical geography, population, languages, and religions of the region.
In this report, three fundamental ideas are explored. The first envisages the creation of two Kashmiri entities one on each side of the line of control, each with its own government, constitution, and special relationship with India and/or Pakistan. The second envisages a single Kashmiri entity straddling the Line of Control with its own government, constitution, and special relationship with India and Pakistan. The third envisages only one entity on the Indian side of the Line of Control. Under any of these formulae, we anticipate that on the Indian side of the Line of Control, the areas that choose to join a Kashmiri entity would be those imbued with "Kashmiriyat" (the cultural traditions of Kashmir) and/or those that interact with the Kashmiri people to an extent sufficient to wish to maintain close political ties with them.
Additionally, ideas and options are explored for rationalizing the Line of Control in conjunction with the creation of one or two reconstituted Kashmiri entities. Suggestions for territorial exchanges would be based on numerous considerations economic, ecological, cultural, and security and can be implemented in such a way as to be of benefit to both India and Pakistan as well as to the local population.
Also, ideas are set forth relating to the creation of free-trade zones and open borders. Initially, these would relate solely to the area of the new Kashmiri entity or entities; but subsequently they could be expanded to the whole of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir or cover an even wider region.
Finally, included in this report is a memorandum prepared by Hurst Hannum, Professor of International Law, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. The memorandum was prepared at the request of the Kashmir Study Group and addresses several issues raised in the proposal "Kashmir - A Way Forward".
As with our earlier studies, this report was drafted and reviewed by a KSG working team. It does not necessarily represent the views of all the members of the Kashmir Study Group. Nor does it represent the views of any organizations with which they are affiliated.