In This Review

Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace
Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace
By Sumantra Bose
Harvard University Press, 2003, 304 pp

This detailed study reveals that the Kashmir problem is more complicated than comparable clashes of sovereignties in other ethnically divided territories. Yet in the end, the author proposes some plausible policy measures to bring about an acceptable form of peace. The Line of Control (LOC) that divides the Pakistani- and Indian-held portions of Jammu and Kashmir was the outcome of the first war between the two countries, when both armies were commanded by British generals and the Indian Defense Committee was chaired by Lord Mountbatten. Bose argues that the LOC has held firm through subsequent clashes between the two (now nuclear) powers largely because the complex ethnic and linguistic groupings on each side of the line have learned to live with each other. Thus he argues that a decision by India and Pakistan to grant autonomy and democracy to the respective entities would open the way to peaceful politics in what has long been a dangerous flashpoint. Bose brings fresh thinking and new information to what has seemed a hopeless problem.