Dr Sushil Aaron is an associate editor at the Hindustan Times where he writes leaders and opinion pieces on India’s politics and foreign affairs. He has previously been Director of Projects at the Centre for Policy Research, Political Adviser at the British High Commission, New Delhi and the Sir Ratan Tata Fellow at the London School of Economics. He is interested in India-Pakistan relations, South Asian affairs and Indian politics.
Research Topic: Unforgotten Conflict, Kashmir after 9/11
Kashmir no longer figures as an area of pressing concern for the international community, even though the conflict has sparked three India-Pakistan wars and cost over 60,000 lives since the insurgency began in 1988. This is a remarkable turnaround for a region that was once deemed as the “world’s most dangerous place” and a “flashpoint” for nuclear conflict in South Asia.
Kashmir seems much quieter now with reduced levels of violence, but the issue is by no means settled. Many elements sustain conditions of conflict including disaffection with India in the Valley, extremist movements on both sides of the Line of Control and wrongheaded policies that fail to address political demands and economic aspirations.
The lecture will discuss dynamics that have shaped Kashmir over the last 15 years and speculate on prospects in the light of recent developments in India-Pakistan relations and within the state of Jammu and Kashmir.