Given the common historical cultural and economic linkages between Kashmir, India and Pakistan (INKPA), Kashmir could act as a bridge for resolution of outstanding issues and deepening cooperation between India and Pakistan. Kashmir HoPe Accord could pave the way for cooperative engagement and dispute resolution in the following areas between the two countries:
- a) Facilitating the establishment of peace in Afghanistan by promoting national reconciliation and the establishment of an inclusive and representative government, including the Taliban and other insurgent groups, in the country.
- b) Complete demilitarization of the Siachen Glacier, withdrawal of troops to positions as determined by the Boundary Determination Commission and an eventual established of a Joint India-Kashmir-Pakistan (INKPA) Climate Change Research Centre in the Siachen area.
- c) Disengagement from pursuits of interference in each other’s political crises like those believed to be occurring in Punjab, Balochistan, Karachi. etc.
- d) Final settlement of Sir Creek boundary dispute.
- e) Agreement on capping of production of nuclear weapons.
- f) Cooperation in nuclear research and development for peaceful use of nuclear energy technology.
- g) Reciprocal confidence-building measures in addressing the outstanding concerns related to incidents like 9/11 Mumbai terror attack and Samhjota Express terror attack.
United Kashmir Haven of Peace shall leverage Kashmir’s natural beauty and moderate summer climate for reshaping and strengthening its relationships with India and Pakistan, ultimately promoting cultural interaction and economic development in South Asia in three distinct soft areas:
- Cricket and
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
Kashmir International Film Park Initiative Indian film industry – Bollywood – has for long held an emotional and commercially-beneficial relationship with film-conducive natural environment of Kashmir. Since the advent of armed insurgency and counter-insurgency in 1990s in Kashmir, India’s film industry has chosen other expensive global destinations to shoot their films. The government of Kashmir shall designate and develop an ecologically-friendly film park, named as Kashmir International Film Park spanning a large geographical area, in public-private partnership, at an appropriate location with all the modern
amenities for shooting of films. The park shall be designed to attract both Bollywood and Pakistan’s emerging Lollywood film and drama serial industry, acting as a bridge for restoring and deepening cultural interaction between the two countries.
Kashmir International Cricket Premier League (KICPIL) – a celebration of cricket passion
South Asian region, particularly India and Pakistan, is an ardent lover of cricket. In recent years,
with growing tensions between the two countries their cricketing relations have soured. A sport that has a potential to bring people together in a spirit of positive engagement has turned into an issue of bitter and divisive rivalry. Kashmir has a tremendous potential for promoting positive interaction and competition in cricket in the region.
During long months of summer, when India, Pakistan and other South Asian countries sizzle in unbearable heat, Kashmir’s moderate and often cool climate offers respite to hundreds of thousands of solace-seeking visitors. It is the time when something of a Kashmir Premier Cricket League could bring professional cricket playing clubs and ardent cricket lovers across the region to enjoy their holidays in Kashmir. Kashmir Premier Cricket League could be accompanied by an International Cricket Bat Festival, where manufacturers would offer high-quality cricket bats made from Kashmir willow to regional/international buyers.
Offering Kashmir as a haven of investment to regional IT companies in Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
Kashmir’s moderate and cold climate would be a key attraction for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies of the region, particularly those based in South India. Kashmir shall develop a Special Economic Zone, with attractive incentives to IT companies to set up their business in Kashmir.
Kashmir Regional Seed Vault
One of the biggest future challenges confronted by the South Asian region is climate change. Agriculture in both India and Pakistan faces severe risks due to rising temperatures, depleting underground water aquifers, erratic precipitation patterns and so on. Moreover, longer summers and shorter winters are creating severe adaptation challenges for South Asia’s agriculture sector, making it difficult for the industry to provide food to the 2 billion people home to the region. South Asian region is also susceptible to other disasters like rising sea levels and tsunamis. Kashmir’s high altitude Himalayas offer an excellent environmental setting for hosting a seed vault for the region, offering a cushion to preserve the region’s seed wealth in the event of major natural or man-made eventualities. Kashmir Regional Seed Vault would endeavor a collaborative agreement with the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
South Asia Economic Forum at Gulmarg
The government of Kashmir shall host in Gulmarg tourist report the South Asia Economic Forum – an annual winter event that shall bring South Asia’s business leaders, government representatives and foreign investors together in generating ideas and partnerships for innovative economic pursuits in the region.
Positive Kashmir – An event for bringing Indian and Pakistanis of Kashmiri descent together
Over the last century or so, a considerable number of native Kashmiris have emigrated from their homeland and settled elsewhere, including in the plains of India and Pakistan. This population, which includes India and Pakistan’s leading political, economic and movie figures, have a profound sense of belonging to their ancestors’ homeland.
Every two years a state-facilitated event shall be held in Srinagar or Muzaffarabad that shall bring together people of Kashmiri descent from all across the world, including eminent politicians of India and Pakistan, to share their experiences of life, their accomplishments and their vision of supporting Kashmir’s reconstruction. This event shall also recognize and honor critical accomplishments in the areas of science, technology, literature, arts and so on.
The author is an International Development Professional and writer.Presently working and based in Cairo Arjimand has had his formal education in Engineering in Banglore University and Economic Growth policies from the World Bank Institute.