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Carter Center Calls for Concessions by India and Pakistan to Resolve Kashmir Crisis

CONTACT: Kay Torrance

ATLANTA….Concessions must be made by both India and Pakistan to resolve escalating tensions between the countries over Kashmir, the strife-torn Himalayan region, The Carter Center recommended in a report released today. India must acknowledge the existence of Pakistani grievances over the disputed territory while Pakistan must visibly take all possible steps to stop infiltrations by terrorists, the report said.

The report is based on the findings of a November 2002 symposium on Kashmir held at The Carter Center with the Center's International Council on Conflict Resolution, a small body of recognized experts in mediating conflict and promoting peace. The ICCR advises the efforts of the Center's Conflict Resolution Program.

"The continuing hostilities in Kashmir have been affected by recent overtures by Indian and Pakistani leaders," said Matthew Hodes, director of the Center's Conflict Resolution Program. "The current U.S. administration has shown great interest in the region and has sent several high-level missions to the area. Persistent international attention is required to exploit the improved rhetoric from both India Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf."

While both countries must make concessions, India and Pakistan should not proceed immediately into formal talks, the report said. Back channel discussions should first address issues such as security, humanitarian needs, and peace dividends, taking into account the wishes of the people of Kashmir.

The Conflict Resolution Program's Kashmir symposium is one in a series considering new solutions to long-standing conflicts.

The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production.

Learn more about the Carter Center's Conflict Resolution Program.

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