The conflict between India and Pakistan has been going on since their partition in 1947. With the recent developments in both countries' nuclear arsenals as well as the increase in insurgent movements in the disputed territory of Kashmir, it has now escalated to a point where the security of not only South Asia but also the entire world is threatened. The United States' lack of credibility in the region has seriously infringed upon their ability to exercise any authority in settling the issue thus far. Therefore, the best way for Washington to help them resolve it is to work with other major state actors. I propose that the United Nations Security Council enforce a plebiscite to decide the fate of Kashmir, which will defuse the immediate dangers of the militant groups' actions. The UN should also agree on the criteria for "Great Powers". A long-term goal should remain to be the complete disarmament of all state and non-state actors.
The most immediate danger facing India and Pakistan is the day-to-day violence caused by militant groups, particularly in the regions of Kashmir and Jammu. General Musharraf, the leader of Pakistan who recently came to power through a military coup, has publicly stated that what is occurring is not "terrorism", but rather a struggle for freedom by the four million Muslims who live under the watchful eye of 500,000 Indian troops there. However, with the recent involvement of Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban controlling 90 per cent of Afghanistan, the freedom movement has "strategic depth" that goes beyond the confines of Kashmir and its people (who primarily just want either independence or Pakistani control). The new trend amongst these "activists" includes the use of military target-oriented human bombs. On April 19, 2000 a young member of the umbrella Muslim militant group,