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Mediation

The
United Nations defines mediation as a process “whereby a third party assists two or more parties, with their consent,
to prevent, manage or resolve a conflict by helping them to develop mutually
acceptable agreements” (peacemediation.de). Mediating actors can be
categorized into four types: individuals (e.g., former United States President
Jimmy Carter), states (e.g., Sweden which has gained prestige in the
international arena as an impartial mediator), international organizations and
regional organizations (e.g., the United Nation and the Arab League) (Melin
2013:79). These actors, when mediating, can make use of different approaches
relevant to the dispute since all disputes vary in terms of parties, intensity,
and response and so forth (Bercovitch 1996:4). The motivation behind a
state-led mediation can vary and could include one of the following options; 1)
the desire to achieve a prestigious reputation as a bridge-builder (in case of
Norway and Sweden) 2) enhancing the state’s own national interests and
expanding influence 3) to reduce the impact of the conflict on one’s own
country. Powerful states with much resources and prior mediating experience can
prove to be effective in their mediator-role given that they can make use of their
material capabilities through incentives and inducements (Melina 2013:86).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Although,
the approach of mediation differs according to the situation there are six
factors that are crucial for the success of the mediation:

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UN
Resolution

With
regards to Jammu and Kashmir there have been mediation efforts from the United
Nations in the early years of the dispute. It was on 1st Jan 1948
that the Kashmir dispute for the first time was brought to the attention of the
Security Council by the Government of India referring to article 35 of the UN
Charter which states following:

Article 35: Any Member of the United Nations may
bring any dispute, or any situation of the nature referred to in Article 34, to
the attention of the Security Council or of the General Assembly (legal.un.org)                                                                                                          Article 34: The Security Council may
investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international
friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether the
continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance
of international peace and security (legal.un.org)

                      The two countries agreed
to the appointment of a UN Commission to mediate between them. The UN Security
Council urged a cease-fire and a resolution was passed encouraging Pakistan to
withdraw its forces from the State of Jammu and Kashmir and when this was
achieved the Indian Government would withdraw its forces as well leaving behind
only a necessary amount to maintain security in the area. The aim was to hold
an internationally supervised plebiscite so that “the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in
accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method
of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United
Nations” (un.org).      The differences
however made it very difficult to achieve the demilitarisation. The discussions
and negotiations remained regarding when demilitarisation shall be completed
and the size of forces that should be left due to security concerns.           However, the possibility of solving
the Kashmir dispute was reduced by the Cold War geo-political context at the
time. The rivalry and the self-interest of the two Security Council members,
U.S. and Soviet Union, had implications on the voting’s on the Kashmir issue. Furthermore,
U.S. diplomacy efforts with Pakistan and military and economic assistance increased
India’s mistrust and insecurity towards Pakistan and the U.S as a mediator (Budania
2001:95).                                                                       UN’s mediator role in the
Kashmir dispute was very active in the beginning but continuous failures to
implement the resolutions made it difficult for them to continue.

Perspectives:
conflicting points of view

·        
Pakistani perspective
on the issue

·        
Indian perspective on
the issue

·        
Kashmiri perspective on
the issue

Each
party, China, India and Pakistan, has its own position with regards to Kashmir.
However, in most debates the dispute remains to be a territorial one and the
Kashmiri perspective is often not considered or heard. 

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